Hi! I’m Tracy, gardening in the East Bay, California, Zone 9b. I’ve done 100% of the planting here; the space behind the house was just a pile of mud when we moved in. Oh, the possibilities! The front garden was full of typical new housing plantings and grass, which I have completely removed.
The strawberry tree (Arbutus ‘Marina’, Zones 7–9) may have been the first thing I planted in the slope in the back.
Because it is so very dry here, I recently did the entire slope as a dry garden. The plantings are all under a couple of years.
Dry gardens don’t need to be boring. Here, various succulents grow in colorful peacock planters.
The dry garden is on the right, with wetter perennial gardens on the left. The tall bearded yucca (Yucca rostrata, Zones 7–10) makes a dramatic statement in the dry garden.
The wide diversity of forms, colors, and shapes of succulents and cactus makes the dry garden endlessly interesting.
A cluster of tall cactus makes a vertical element, contrasting with the round golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii, Zones 9–11).
The dry garden runs down right to the pool.
This ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata, Zones 9–11) was a freebie from half a mile away that I spotted in a cracked pot. The owner gladly let me handtruck the ponytail palm away, and it is an excellent showstopper for the slope.
View down the slope, showing the wide range of succulents, including a couple more golden barrel cactus
A tall Aloe ‘Hercules’ (Zones 9–11) is another favorite. It will eventually grow to form almost a small tree.
Tracy sent so many great photos that we’ll return to her garden next week and explore her perennial beds.
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