Front Yard Design - CA Native - Review/Suggestions?

San Jose, CA

I'm new to gardening/landscaping and have made a couple of posts on here and on gardenweb, and looking to see if anyone familiar with CA Natives can check over my current design. The house faces west (sun direction is noted in diagram), and I'm in the Bay Area with adobe/alkaline soil - USDA Zone 8-9, Sunset Zone 14-15. I'm working from the house up to the sidewalk with lawn replacement, and the thick horizontal line just over halfway down is the start of an uphill slope. Each box represents one square foot, boxes with diagonals are areas that I've completed. The "/" after the plant number indicates height of plant at maturity. I can post up some pics later of what I have so far. I'm mainly looking for advice on the larger shrubs/trees, and, if I need more variety such as more groundcover, for better balance - I'm heavy with shrubs/perennials.but once the plants mature want a healthy mix of insects/wildlife.

Thumbnail by Bunson
San Jose, CA

Plant List - boldface is planted, items with an "X" are those that are candidates but do not have a spot yet. There are still some blank spaces for fill in or flexibility with other plants.



This message was edited May 23, 2011 9:08 PM

Thumbnail by Bunson
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Love that you're planting natives! It's hard to visualize things from your diagram so if you can post some pics of what you have so far that would really help. I've grown many of the things on your list or seen them used around here so your plant list looks fine assuming you've figured out how much sun each area of the garden gets and will be placing things appropriately.

My one suggestion would be to consider relocating the rosebush to another area of the garden (assuming that it's not a CA native rose of course). Once your native garden is established, the rest of your plants be happiest with little to no water during the summer but the rose won't do so well under those conditions.

A few other of my favorite natives that you may want to consider (sorry if some of these were already on your list--I know Latin names not always common ones):
Eschscholzia californica http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/adv_search.php?searcher%5Bcommon%5D=&searcher%5Bfamily%5D=&searcher%5Bgenus%5D=eschscholzia&searcher%5Bspecies%5D=&searcher%5Bcultivar%5D=&searcher%5Bhybridizer%5D=&searcher%5Bgrex%5D=&search_prefs%5Bblank_cultivar%5D=&search_prefs%5Bsort_by%5D=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search
Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2504/
Carpinteria californica http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/38382/
Salvia clevelandii http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/adv_search.php?searcher%5Bcommon%5D=&searcher%5Bfamily%5D=&searcher%5Bgenus%5D=salvia&searcher%5Bspecies%5D=clevelandii&searcher%5Bcultivar%5D=&searcher%5Bhybridizer%5D=&searcher%5Bgrex%5D=&search_prefs%5Bblank_cultivar%5D=&search_prefs%5Bsort_by%5D=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search
Fallugia paradoxa http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/37056/
Chilopsis linearis http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/265/

San Jose, CA

Got some pictures taken - here's some photos of what I've done so far, and some other photos of the task ahead.

Here's the stone pathway I'm putting in along with some plants. The pile of rocks is a drain that I covered with river rocks to hide the black plastic cover.

Thumbnail by Bunson
San Jose, CA

A little farther back showing the strip of landscape at the front of the house. The bamboo has been there for years and I couldn't get myself to pull it out so I just planted the Heart's Desire Lilac to hopefully grow around it eventually.

Thumbnail by Bunson
San Jose, CA

Path to be finished and the wall of 12 foot tall (I think it's Japanese Pittosporum) that going to be ripped out, along with a farm of Lily of the Nile that also needs to be removed. The old concrete lawn border was pulled out, there's still a strip that needs to be removed that's hidden under the edge of the Lily of the Nile.

Thumbnail by Bunson
San Jose, CA

Another view of the pittosporum...these are 30 years old and just getting massive and gnarled. I'm going to try and dig out the smallest one on the left and depending how that goes may get the remaining five professionally removed.

Thumbnail by Bunson

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