Plant Notes #1

In the first issue of Plant Notes, Patricia discusses the use of drought tolerant low maintenance plants, (that deer don’t eat) with interesting foliage in our Mediterranean climate gardens.  Plants include:

  • Cordyline - One of the most stunning cordylines, Cordyline "Festival Grass" or C. Design-a line Burgundy has wonderful dark shiny color, form and habit.  The burgundy strap-like leaves make it stand out in any garden planting or mixed container, however it's this cordyline's round bush shaped plant that grows to 3 ft in height and then with the beautiful cascading foliage which really makes it so versatile for the garden, or planted out in large display pots. Easy-care, low water requirements, compact and bushy, C. Design-a line Burgundy also produces lovely, star-shaped blush pink flowers in late Spring and Summer.
  • Lomandra longifolia "Breeze" - With a fine blade and compact habit, this plant has the look and feel of an ornamental grass, with bright, pine-green foliage, but is far more drought tolerant and evergreen even in areas where temperatures occasionally reach the teens. It will ultimately reach a height and spread of about 30 to 36 inches with an arched to weeping habit.  It can be grown in full sun to part shade and can thrive on very little water.
  • Breath of Heaven - Coleonema pulchellum "Sunset gold" - A light, wispy shrub that displays attractive, tiny pink blooms over long season. Golden heath-like leaves are very fragrant when crushed; use along walkways or paths where branches can be reached. Evergreen, full sun to part shade, regular to low water once established, grows 2 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide.
  • Blue Fescue - Festuca Idahoensis Siskyou Blue - The outstanding, icy blue coloration to this clumping ornamental grass holds up even through the heat of summer. Buff colored flowers create eye-catching contrast. Perfectly suited for edging borders or mass planting as a groundcover. Drought tolerant when established. A California native evergreen, full sun to part shade, occasional watering once established, fast growing dense mounds 8-12 in. tall.

Meet Patricia Saint John

 

You could call her an escape artist, dreamweaver or simply a very talented landscape designer with a cunning eye for every little detail required to transform your garden into a functional, yet intriguing outdoor haven. Patricia St. John has been designing residential gardens for the past 20 years, on both sides of the bay. Her work has received several design awards and been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Sunset Magazines, S.F. Chronicle, and five books on garden design. She is a CA certified nursery professional, and Certified Professional Landscape Designer. She has taught, in the Landscape Horticulture department at Merritt College in Oakland for the past 9 years. After being past Co-President of the Berkeley Garden Club, she is now Membership Chair.  As part of the Berkeley Garden Club Tuesday program, Patricia presents "Plant Notes", where she chooses a few plants that she is passionate about, brings samples and describes their habits and uses.  The plants are then raffled off to club members and guests. 

Patricia in her North Berkeley Studio

Patricia in her North Berkeley Studio

Patricia's propagation and potting area

Patricia's propagation and potting area