Photos show the garden six weeks after installation. A list of plant names is at the end.
Grangetto's three locations serve homeowner-gardeners and agricultural clients. The Escondido store is on a busy street in a light-industrial area. Inland summer heat and sun can be brutal---one reason owner Kevin Grangetto asked for "a low-maintenance succulent landscape," Hannah says.
Six months earlier, she created an award-winning 1,750-square-foot display garden for Grangetto's at the San Diego County Fair. Hannah repurposed much of the rock from the exhibit into the new street-side landscape.
Completed in January, its five garden areas (three with succulents, two with edibles) enhance long, narrow beds alongside the building. Both are mere steps away from sidewalks, driveways and a busy intersection.
The L-shaped landscaping skirts the foundation of a metal-sided, high-ceiling building with forklift-sized doors.
With the help of Grangetto's employees, Hannah expedited five garden areas that flow into each other. Three planted with succulents have a topdressing of golden gravel. She mulched the other two---which feature edibles---with moisture-conserving shredded redwood ("gorilla hair").
In keeping with the Design for Serenity aesthetic, Hannah sculpted mounds and swales with new topsoil and boulders as accents. This approach is as practical as it is pleasing; mounds give roots good soil, elevate plants, enhance drainage, and provide sheltered microclimates.
Have you dealt with one or more of these and wondered what a professional landscape designer would do? Tell us in the Comments!
Visually Blend dissimilar areas
Hannah used serpentine borders of lava rock to define garden sections, and amid the dark chunks she placed golden-toned boulders (same color as the gravel). These add continuity to adjacent areas topdressed with dark mulch or beige-gold crushed rock.
Avoid mounding soil against walls
How to surround a structure with topsoil without banking it against the walls? Mound the soil away from it and create a trench around the building's perimeter. It'll double as a pathway that accesses the back of the garden.
Topdressings help keeps walls clean, too. Rain and irrigation that hit loose, bare soil will splash dirt onto surrounding surfaces.
Soften a stark structure
She also added two palo verde 'Desert Museum' trees. Despite looking dainty with feathery leaves and airy masses of yellow flowers, these green-barked trees are remarkably tough and heat-tolerant.
Succulents that'll mature into trees over time include Trichocereus sp., Aloe ferox, Yucca rostrata, and a trio of Pachypodium lamerii. All are slow compared to woody trees, but when installed atop mounds, they gain several feet of height.
Hesperaloe parviflora, a desert succulent with narrow, upright leaves, has a fountain-like form. It sends up slender, lily-like flower spikes in summer.
Provide color, texture, height and contrast
Farther from the walls and in lower areas, Hannah added colorful ornamental succulents such as Echeveria harmsii; mangaves; a dwarf, red-flowering Euphorbia milii; Cotyledon orbiculata; and aloes 'Blue Elf', A. vera, and A. cameronii.
Plan for plant size at maturity
protect plants near driveways
Alongside most driveways, especially where a garden corner meets the street, plants are at risk of being run over. Rather than trying to prevent or fix it, it's easier to fill at-risk areas with crushed rock.
Add edibles beautifully and efficiently
To show how homeowners can grow crops in a small area, Hannah planted a variety of dwarf citrus in the ground, with vegetables nearby in raised beds. Grangetto's sells seeds and, in season, rooted plant starts.
Here's your LIST: 20 Tough Streetside Succulents
- Agaves 'Moonshine' and A. colorata
- Aloes 'Blue Elf', A. ferox, A. vera, A. cameronii
- Cacti: Pilosocereus pachycladus, Trichocereus sp., Echinocactus grusonii (golden barrels)
- Cotyledon orbiculata
- Crassula ovata 'Gollum' and ripple jade
- Euphorbia milii (dwarf with red flowers)
- Hesperaloe parviflora
- Mangaves 'Aztec King', 'Mission to Mars', and 'Kaleidoscope'
- Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' and 'Minima' (elephants' food, low-growing varieties)
- Yucca rostrata
Do leave a comment below! Are you a fan of Hannah's? How about Grangetto's? I've gone there since I was a kid---my dad took me along when buying fertilizer, gopher traps, and irrigation supplies for our groves and garden.
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