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The Tropics Meet Low Water Needs

Category: Recent Articles  |  Permalink

Published: Monday, September 30, 2013

We have had the great pleasure of working with Mike Nichols of Nichols Design Group (NDG) on a few of our recent projects, including this quaint bluff top vacation home overlooking Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

This project began with the arduous task of removing twenty year old ficus trees that had overgrown the courtyard and had left little room for enjoyment and little sunlight for anything else to grow.

The requirement for the new landscaping was to retain the large, old existing Kentia palms but to transition to a new, low-water use and bluff friendly plant palette that would also be colorful, interesting and low maintenance.

The new plantings Mike chose consisted of many varieties of shade tolerant Echeveria's, including our personal favorites (E. Cante, E. 'Afterglow', and E. imbricata) as a spectacular low growing ground cover. Mike included different varieties of shade loving Cordylines and aloes as vertical focal points. Stephanotis vines were trained to trellises to provide a subtle aroma and beautiful white flowers as well as a backdrop for the planter beds and to screen the new existing tall fence/wall which serves as a view screen.

New Netafim drip irrigation systems were installed to replace the previously existing sprinkler system, and a fertilizer injection system was installed to directly feed all plantings with an organic liquid fertilizer blend during irrigation. We also installed the Hunter ICC controller with Solar Sync to automatically adjust the irrigation system per existing current weather conditions.

Auroralight Solid Copper landscape light fixtures were installed for night ambience, to illuminate the stately Kentia palms and for comfortable warm light to show the way along walks and patio edges as well as to show off the understory planting. The planter beds were dressed with a blue beach cobble to complete the fantastic final product.

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