There’s no doubt about it! California’s recent four year drought has shifted our thinking when it comes to gardening, and landscaping in general. A good example, take a look at San Francisco’s landscape sidewalk program. It’s been going on for years, but now it seems much more visible as you walk through different city neighborhoods.
The sidewalk gardens, are a perfect example of creating habitat gardens that are sustainable without much supplemental water, once established. Creating a planting area where water can permeate into the ground also reduces water runoff in the rainy season, thereby replenishing our aquifers and reducing pollution and runoff into our sewers and bay. Take a look at San Francisco Public Works, to learn more about this. Besides info on the benefits of greening up our neighborhoods, they also provide would be participants with a step by step ‘how to’ guide, that includes how to get through the permit process (yes, permits are required) as well as plant suggestions.
Choose a plant palette adapted to California’s dry summer climate. These can include succulents, California natives, Mediterranean climate plants. You can also choose plants that attract butterflies and humming birds.