Planning a Drought-Tolerant Garden

Credit: Wiki Commons

Q: I live in coastal Southern California (Venice) and need to remove a big rubber tree that’s breaking the wall at the end of my small yard. I’m trying to decide what to replace along this 30′ wall that will be drought tolerant, adaptable to my clay-like soil, and screen my view of my neighbors.

I’d love to have a fig tree, maybe a loquat, if those would work well here. If so, what other trees would complement them? If not, what trees would you suggest for this space? My yard is not much deeper than it is wide. The 6′ wall is north-facing and the space is enclosed by a garage at either end.

A fig tree sounds like a lovely idea for your Southern California garden. Go to this article for an excellent description of the suitability of a fig tree for your area.

As for design, the sky is the limit as to what you can do around your tree. For drought resistance, here is one small-space garden design that caught my eye.

And here are more ideas for landscaping around trees.

Lastly, if you are thinking drought resistance, native plants might be the ideal solution for you. There are a number of good books on this topic for your area.

Good luck and happy planting!