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Easy-care plants for unthirsty borders.

These pastels shimmer softly in the dry glare of Los Angeles heat and paving. Good choices for dry climates, once established they thrive in average soil with water only every one to two weeks. Where water suppliers are unrestricted, plant soon to take advantage of rapid spring growth. Where water is rationed, wait until fall, when cooler weather and some rain can help plants get established.

Gentle colors, tough plants

The dominant flower color is soft pink to pale lavender. It appears in pink yarrow (Achillea borealis), bearded iris, roses, clary sage, Sedum spectabile, lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina, commonly sold as S. lanata), and society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea). Providing darker shades in the purple-pink range are purple-leafed plum and bronze fennel foliage (cut fennel back before seeds set or you'll have volunteers everywhere). The secondary flower color is soft yellow. It turns up in |Moonshine' yarrow, fennel, Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa), roses, and santolina. Setting off the pinks and yellows are silvery grays: lamb's ears and snow-in-summer edge the border and weave among other plants. Most of the flowering plants also have soft green to grayish foliage; the variety of shades and textures forms in interesting tapestry even during the brief periods without bloom.
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Date:May 1, 1990
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