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What sort of concept can be noble, money-saving and victimizing at the same time? The concept of drought-tolerant, low-maintenance gardens.

Over the years, I have seen quite a few gardens that were designed for drought tolerance Drought tolerance refers to the degree to which a plant is adapted to arid or drought conditions. Desiccation tolerance is an extreme degree of drought tolerance.[1] Plants naturally adapted to dry conditions are called xerophytes.  and ease of maintenance - only to be turned into scruffy patches of plants where weediness, not beauty, was on display.

I recently visited one of the newly remodeled Valley libraries and saw that it had become a victim of the drought-tolerant concept. Unkempt and chaotic, the landscape surrounding the library must be an embarrassment to library employees and visitors alike. Gardens such as these remind me of the famous fable of the emperor's new clothes Emperor’s New Clothes

supposedly invisible to unworthy people; in reality, nonexistent. [Dan. Lit.: Andersen’s Fairy Tales]

See : Illusion

Emperor’s New Clothes
 in that no one dares to say what even a child can see: ``Look! A garden of weeds!''

Aside from the hundreds of robust specimens of prickly lettuce, even the plants that are supposed to be there look weedy, especially the burgundy fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Atropurpureum') and the pale blue Adj. 1. pale blue - of a light shade of blue

chromatic - being or having or characterized by hue
 sheep's fescue fescue (fĕs`ky), any of some 100 species of introduced Old World grasses of the genus Festuca.  (Festuca ovina 'Glauca').

In the Valley, fountain grass needs to be cut back within 12 inches of the ground in late winter in order to grow up fresh and symmetric in the spring. Sheep's fescue, in the Valley, simply cannot stand more than half a day's sun, at most, yet in the library planting it gets all-day sun.

I do not mean to imply that landscapes and gardens with-drought tolerant plants are bound for failure. Rather, such gardens need careful planning and a fair amount of maintenance. A heavy mulch, at least 2 inches deep, should be seen at all times.

One of the most effective gardens consisting of many drought-tolerant plants can be seen at Soka University in Calabasas. It is meticulously maintained and irrigated and benefits from the protection of large oak trees.

Q: Twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
 ago I moved to my hillside home in Encino. There was a small patch of asparagus fern in the yard that now is taking over everything. I have tried in vain to eradicate this intruder. Please let me know what I can do to eliminate this pesky plant.

- Francine Oschin,


A: Asparagus fern (Asparagus 'Sprengeri') is one of those tricky ornamentals that will turn from charming to alarming in the fullness of time. It is high on that short list of infernal, invasive ground covers that include ivy, spider plant, spiderwort spiderwort, common name for some members of the Commelinaceae, a family of tropical and subtropical succulent herbs found especially in Africa and the Americas. , violets and periwinkle periwinkle, in zoology
periwinkle, any of a group of marine gastropod mollusks having conical, spiral shells. Periwinkles feed on algae and seaweed.
 (Vinca Vin┬Ěca
A genus of evergreens usually found in the Eastern hemisphere.


plant genus of Apocynaceae family; contains cardiac glycoside; causes diarrhea; includes V. major (blue periwinkle), V.
 major). Where asparagus fern is concerned, you can don rubber gloves, spray round-up on a sponge, and then dab the sponge on the visible shoots of the fern. These shoots will then die back to their rhizomes. If you persist in this mission, you should eventually vanquish your asparagus fern.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 8, 2004
Previous Article:GARDENING.

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