Water-Wise Demonstration Garden - Turlock Irrigation District
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Water-Wise Demonstration Garden 2018-04-03T16:19:34+00:00

Water-Wise Demonstration Garden

Creating a drought-tolerant landscape for your home or business might seem like a daunting task. There are many things to consider; the type of plants to use, how to incorporate dry creek beds and hardscaping into your design and should you use native or non-native species, just to name a few.

By creating our Water Wise Demonstration Garden at TID’s office on Canal Drive in Turlock, we’ve attempted to illustrate four distinct planting styles using a mixture of plants native to California as well as those from other western states and parts of the world suited to our hot, dry summers. TID’s Water Wise Demonstration Garden is divided into four distinct areas; Mediterranean, Desert Succulent, Chaparral and Oak Woodland. Each area has plants typically found in those landscapes and have been specifically selected due to their hardiness, suitability to our local climate and their low water use. Some of the plants selected require very little or no watering once established in the landscape.

Our Water Wise Demonstration Garden is divided into four distinct areas; Mediterranean, Desert Succulent, Chaparral and Oak Woodland. Each area has plants typically found in those landscapes and have been specifically selected due to their hardiness, suitability to our local climate and their low water use. Some of the plants selected require very little or no watering once established in the landscape.

This page highlights the plants placed in our landscape project and gives you the common name, botanical name and a brief description of each species as well as their growth habits and ultimate size when mature.

If you’ve walked through our garden, we hope you enjoyed it. If you’ve yet to visit, we invite you to come down and experience it. See for yourself how diverse a water-wise landscape can be and hopefully, take home some ideas you can use in your own water-efficient landscape.

Please consult your local landscape professional, nursery or garden center for information regarding the suitability of these plants for your garden as well as alternatives to the species listed here.

Click the links above to view a list of the plants used in each section of the garden

Mediterranean Garden

Common Name:
Atlas Fescue
Botanical Name:
Festuca Mairei

Notes:
Evergreen clumping grass has arching fountain-like foliage and works well as a large scale ground-cover. Pleated leaves grow in clumps 2.5 feet tall and as wide. Grows best in full sun or light shade and tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions. It’s evergreen in all but the coldest conditions.

Common Name:
Berkeley Sedge
Botanical Name:
Carex Divulsa

Notes:
Graceful, arching, grass-like sedge. Likes some water and shade. Cool season grower, it can be used as a lawn substitute in shady or partial sun areas. Evergreen, fast grower to 10 in high by 3 feet wide. Infrequent to regular watering and will tolerate clay soils. Plant is frost tender. Flowers in Spring. Attracts birds.

Common Name:
California Fuchsia
Botanical Name:
Epibolum Canum

Notes:
Showy red trumpet-shaped blooms in Summer and Fall. Hummingbirds love them. Good for erosion control and they reseed easily. Fast growth is low and spreading to 2’ high and 4’ wide. Plant in full sun. Adaptable to different types of soil, drought tolerant to moderate water requirements. Hardy to 15 degrees F.

Common Name:
Creeping Rosemary
Botanical Name:
Rosmarinus Prostratus

Notes:
Attractive spreading ground-cover forms a carpet of deep blue flowers and fragrant foliage. Leaves can be used as a culinary seasoning. Outstanding water-wise shrub and can be used to cascade over retaining walls and raised planting beds. Needs only occasional watering once established. Flowers in early Spring. 1-2’ tall by 8’ wide.

Common Name:
Dwarf Bottlebrush ‘Little John
Botanical Name:
Callistemon Citrinus

Notes:
Evergreen plant with bright red flower spikes. Slow grower to 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Masses of flowers on blue-green foliage. Peak season for flowers is Summer. Prefers well drained soil and let the plant dry out between waterings.

Common Name:
Dwarf Olive ‘Little Ollie’
Botanical Name:
Olea Europa ‘Montra’

Notes:
Dwarf, non-fruiting variety with a graceful multi-branching habit. Deep green leaves have silvery-green undersides. Makes a great specimen shrub and is excellent in topiary form. Heat, drought and salt tolerant. Needs only occasional watering once established. Moderate grower to 4-6 feet tall and wide. Full sun.

Common Name:
Emerald Carpet Manzanita
Botanical Name:
Arctostaphylos

Notes:
Lush dark green foliage make this an excellent ground cover. Tolerates heavy soils. Needs some summer water and afternoon shade in hot inland areas. Flowers attract hummingbirds. Grows to 1’ high by 3-5’ wide with a low, dense growth habit. Flowers in Winter and Spring. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F.

Common Name:
English Lavender
Botanical Name:
Lavandula Angustifolia

Notes:
Despite the name, English Lavender is not native to England but the Mediterranean. This strongly aromatic shrub grows to 4’ high by 3’ wide. Masses of purple blooms from early through late Summer. Suitable for a variety of soil types from sandy through heavy clay soil. Drought tolerant and needs full sun.

Common Name:
Furman’s Red Autumn Sage
Botanical Name:
Salvia Greggii ‘Furman’s Red’

Notes:
Lush dark green foliage make this an excellent ground cover. Tolerates heavy soils. Needs some summer water and afternoon shade in hot inland areas. Flowers attract hummingbirds. Grows to 1’ high by 3-5’ wide with a low, dense growth habit. Flowers in Winter and Spring. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F.

Common Name:
Moonshine Yarrow
Botanical Name:
Achillea Millefolium

Notes:
Aromatic, feathery fern-like leaves grow to 6 inches in height and spreads by rhizomes. Flower clusters rise to 2 feet. This perennial grows to 6 inches high and 2-3 feet wide. Evergreen, fast growing prefers full sun to high shade and is adaptable to different soil types. Moderate to regular watering.

Common Name:
Sweet Bay
Botanical Name:
Laurus Nobilis

Notes:
Aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub. Foliage is valued as a flavorful culinary seasoning. Can be sheared into a formal hedge or a topiary. Thrives in containers and needs only occasional watering once established. Slow growing and can reach 12 to 15 feet high if grown as a single trunk tree. Prefers partial to full sun..

Common Name:
Wall Germander
Botanical Name:
Teucrium Chamaedrys

Notes:
Dark green aromatic foliage and light pink to deep purple flowers in Summer and early Fall. Spreading growth to 3’ high and 1’ wide. Does best in gritty, well drained soil and full sun. Evergreen and drought tolerant. Does well in containers and can be used in rock gardens or as a low hedge.

Desert Succulent Garden

Common Name:
Alkalai Sacaton
Botanical Name:
Sporobolus Airoides

Notes:
Graceful seed-heads on robust, tough bunchgrass. Thrives in clay soils this fast grower will reach 2’ high and 3’ wide. Plant in full sun this plant is a good choice for
stabilizing ground and restoring disturbed areas. Purplish seed-heads in Summer which attract birds and butterflies. Cold hardy.

Common Name:
Bee’s Bliss Sage
Botanical Name:
Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’

Notes:
Spreading habit and long, draping flower stalks. Fast grower to 2’ high by 5’ wide. Semi-evergreen ground cover needs full sun and well-drained soil. Occasional
deep watering in Summer. Lavender/pink flowers Spring and Summer. Attracts bees, birds, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Common Name:
California Fuchsia
Botanical Name:
Epibolum Canum

Notes:
Showy red trumpet-shaped blooms in Summer and Fall. Hummingbirds love them. Good for erosion control and they reseed easily. Fast growth is low and spreading to 2’ high and 4’ wide. Plant in full sun. Adaptable to different types of soil, drought tolerant to moderate water requirements. Hardy to 15 degrees F.

Common Name:
Coral Yucca
Botanical Name:
Hesperaloe Parvifolia

Notes:
This evergreen perennial sends tall spikes up to 6’ high beginning in early Summer. Moderate growth to 4’ tall and wide. Plant in full sun, needs only occasional
watering once established. Makes a good rock-garden plant.

Common Name:
Evergold Sedge
Botanical Name:
Carex Oshimensis

Notes:
Arch-like leaves with light yellow centers and edged in dark green add interest and texture to your landscape. Grows in mounds and forms clumps 10 to 16 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide. Needs consistent moisture and partial shade to thrive.

Common Name:
Foothill Penstemon
Botanical Name:
Penstemon Heterophyllus

Notes:
This profuse bloomer has flowers that attract hummingbirds. Its neat and compact appearance makes it perfect for small sunny borders. Perennial to 1’ high by 2’ wide full to part sun in well drained soil. Drought tolerant to occasional watering. Flowers Spring and Summer. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Common Name:
New Mexico Agave
Botanical Name:
Agave Parryi

Notes:
This evergreen perennial sends tall spikes up to 6’ high beginning in early Summer. Moderate growth to 4’ tall and wide. Plant in full sun, needs only occasional
watering once established. Makes a good rock-garden plant.

Common Name:
Stalked Bulbine
Botanical Name:
Bulbine Frutescens

Notes:
Slender foliage with tall flower stalks that appear in Spring to late Summer. Buds have a green center stripe that reveal deep orange petals and yellow centers. Good as a massed ground cover. Plant in full to part sun, clumps to 2’ tall and spreads to 4’ wide. Once established, needs only occasional watering.

Common Name:
Weber Agave
Botanical Name:
Agave Weberi

Notes:
This stately succulent quickly forms a big, bold rosette with pale blue-green leaves that contrasts silver, gray or dark green plants. Produces a tall flower spike once mature. Plant in full sun and, once established, needs only occasional watering. Perfect for containers or rock gardens.

Chaparral Garden

Common Name:
California Flannel Bush
Botanical Name:
Fremontodendron Californicum

Notes:
Rapidly growing evergreen hardwood shrub or small multi-trunked tree, growing 5-18’ tall and wide. It flowers profusely with 2.5 to 3.5 inch lemon-yellow flowers from May through August. Give excellent drainage and no summer irrigation. In nature, it’s found in numerous habitats across California.

Common Name:
Cleveland Sage
Botanical Name:
Salvia Clevelandii

Notes:
This profuse bloomer has flowers that attract hummingbirds. Its neat and compact appearance makes it perfect for small sunny borders. Perennial to 1’ high by 2’ wide full to part sun in well drained soil. Drought tolerant to occasional watering. Flowers Spring and Summer. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Common Name:
Compact Oregon Grape
Botanical Name:
Berberis Aquifolium ‘Compacta’

Notes:
Slow growing evergreen shrub that makes an excellent specimen for shady areas. Showy flowers with berries that attract birds. Leaves show off fall colors in purple, red and orange. Growth is upright to 6’ high by 6’ wide and is adaptable to clay soils. Attracts birds and butterflies to both flowers and berries.

Common Name:
Concha California Lilac – Popcorn Ceanothus
Botanical Name:
Ceanothus ‘Concha’ – Ceanothus Maritmus ‘Popcorn’

Notes:
Low, dense evergreen shrub to 3’ high and 6’ wide. Prefers well draining, acidic soil with partial shade and infrequent to moderate watering. Good on hills and slopes and attracts birds and butterflies. Popcorn variety has white flowers in Winter and Spring – Lilac variety is shown in photo.

Common Name:
Deer Grass
Botanical Name:
Muhlenbergia Rigens

Notes:
Drought tolerant ornamental bunchgrass with flower stalks up to 6’ high. Excellent for erosion control. Usually planted in masses or as an accent. Recommend shearing every 3-4 years to rejuvenate and promote new growth. To 2-4’ high by 4’ wide. Full sun to partial shade and hardy to 15 degrees F.

Common Name:
Emerald Carpet Manzanita
Botanical Name:
Arctostaphylos

Notes:
Lush dark green foliage make this an excellent ground-cover. Tolerates heavy soils. Needs some summer water and afternoon shade in hot inland areas. Flowers attract hummingbirds. Grows to 1’ high by 3-5’ wide with a low, dense growth habit. Flowers in Winter and Spring. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F.

Common Name:
Foothill Penstemon
Botanical Name:
Penstemon Heterophyllus

Notes:
This profuse bloomer has flowers that attract hummingbirds. Its neat and compact appearance makes it perfect for small sunny borders. Perennial to 1’ high by 2’ wide full to part sun in well drained soil. Drought tolerant to occasional watering. Flowers Spring and Summer. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Common Name:
Howard McMinn Manzanita
Botanical Name:
Arctostaphylos Densiflora

Notes:
Profuse bloomer with pretty bark and foliage. A spreading, low shrub with flowers that attract hummingbirds. 3’ high x 5’ wide this evergreen shrub prefers full to part sun and well-draining soil. Pink flowers Winter and Spring. Attracts hummingbirds, birds and butterflies.

Common Name:
Matilija Poppy
Botanical Name:
Romneya Coulteri

Notes:
Known as the “Fried Egg Flower” for its large white and yellow blooms this is one of California’s most spectacular and best-known flowers. Once established it can spread over a wide area. Can be invasive. 8’ high and spreading, this fast growing semi-evergreen perennial likes full sun and is adaptable to many soil conditions.

Common Name:
Sticky Monkey Flower
Botanical Name:
Mimulus Aurantiacus

Notes:
Native to the Santa Monica Mountains, this hummingbird favorite is also a food source for the Common Checkerspot and Buckeye butterflies. Perennial displaying upright growth to 3’ high and wide. Semi-deciduous with orange flowers. Full sun to part shade and is adaptable to various soil types.

Oak Woodland Garden

Common Name:
Atlas Fescue
Botanical Name:
Festuca Mairei

Notes:
Evergreen clumping grass has arching fountain-like foliage and works well as a large scale ground-cover. Pleated leaves grow in clumps 2.5 feet tall and as wide.
Grows best in full sun or light shade and tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions. It’s evergreen in all but the coldest conditions.

Common Name:
Blonde Ambition Grama Grass
Botanical Name:
Bouteloua Gracilis

Notes:
Drought tolerant grass that makes a nice substitute for lawns. Also makes a good ornamental grass for perennial borders or, in containers. Seed heads resemble small flags. Good for erosion control. Grows 6 inches to 1 foot in height and 6 inches to 1 foot in width. Fast grower that prefers full sun. Dormant in Winter.

Common Name:
Blue-eyed Grass
Botanical Name:
Sisyrinchium Bellum

Notes:
Excellent meadow plant that prefers sun and regular moisture during Winter and Spring until flowering. Goes dormant in Summer losing some or all of its leaves which return with Winter rains. Perennial grows 12-18 inches high and 6 inches wide. Fast grower and adaptable to various soil types. Purple flowers attract butterflies.

Common Name:
California Fuchsia
Botanical Name:
Epibolum Canum

Notes:
Showy red trumpet-shaped blooms in Summer and Fall. Hummingbirds love them. Good for erosion control and they reseed easily. Fast growth is low and spreading to 2’ high and 4’ wide. Plant in full sun. Adaptable to different types of soil, drought tolerant to moderate water requirements. Hardy to 15 degrees F.

Common Name:
Compact Oregon Grape
Botanical Name:
Berberis Aquifolium ‘Compacta’

Notes:
Slow growing evergreen shrub that makes an excellent specimen for shady areas. Showy flowers with berries that attract birds. Leaves show off fall colors in purple, red and orange. Growth is upright to 6’ high by 6’ wide and is adaptable to clay soils. Attracts birds and butterflies to both flowers and berries.

Common Name:
Deer Grass
Botanical Name:
Muhlenbergia Rigens

Notes:
Drought tolerant ornamental bunchgrass with flower stalks up to 6’ high. Excellent for erosion control. Usually planted in masses or as an accent. Recommend shearing every 3-4 years to rejuvenate and promote new growth. To 2-4’ high by 4’ wide. Full sun to partial shade and hardy to 15 degrees F.

Common Name:
Douglas Iris
Botanical Name:
Iris Douglasiana

Notes:
Deep purple flowers with yellow and white blaze. Gorgeous in shady dry places. Needs part sun to shade. This perennial grows to 1’ high by 2’ wide. Needs well drained, rocky and acidic soil and takes occasional to moderate watering. Hardy to 15 degrees F. Flowers in the Spring and attracts hummingbirds.

Common Name:
Emerald Carpet Manzanita
Botanical Name:
Arctostaphylos

Notes:
Lush dark green foliage make this an excellent ground-cover. Tolerates heavy soils. Needs some summer water and afternoon shade in hot inland areas. Flowers attract hummingbirds. Grows to 1’ high by 3-5’ wide with a low, dense growth habit. Flowers in Winter and Spring. Hardy to 15-20 degrees F.

Common Name:
Evergreen Currant
Botanical Name:
Ribes Viburnifolium

Notes:
Low-growing evergreen currant with fragrant leaves and dark red stems. Excellent under large trees and for erosion control. Needs part shade to shady conditions
but is adaptable to various soil types. Berries attract birds. Hardy to 15 degrees F. Red flowers appear in Spring.

Common Name:
Howard McMinn Manzanita
Botanical Name:
Arctostaphylos Densiflora

Notes:
Profuse bloomer with pretty bark and foliage. A spreading, low shrub with flowers that attract hummingbirds. 3’ high x 5’ wide this evergreen shrub prefers full to part sun and well-draining soil. Pink flowers Winter and Spring. Attracts hummingbirds, birds and butterflies.

Common Name:
Western Redbud
Botanical Name:
Cercis Occidentalis

Notes:
A beautiful flowering tree with magenta colored blossoms in Spring followed by heart-shaped leaves that turn red and orange in the Fall. Fast grower to 15’ high by 10’ wide. Plant in full sun to part shade, needs moderate to regular watering. Attracts hummingbirds, birds and butterflies.

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