A Xeric Paradise: Xera Plants

Last weekend, I attended Greg Shepherd's impromptu garden party. Greg Shepherd is the co-owner of Xera Plants, one of my favorite nurseries. He admits that his business inspired his xeric garden. He simply can't bear to water once he gets home from a day of watering four inch plants at the store and nursery. I don't blame him. And the resulting garden is fabulous!

New plant additions get water the first year in his garden to get established but after that, they are on their own. He doesn't fertilize plants or amend the soil.

Doesn't that sound like the perfect garden? 

Greg's texture filled garden is a photographer's dream. The garden has a  simple plant driven design that overflows with gray blue foliage, soft yellow flowers and punches of orange for emphasis.  I've visited other xeric gardens that made me feel like I was visiting an alien moon, but not Greg's.  Greg's garden invites you to explore and enjoy.

The hellstrip is full of interesting plants that shine in the evening light. A man walking his beagle came by a couple of times and I felt like he was keeping an eye on me to make sure that I wasn't hurting the garden.   

The stone pathway in his front yard invites you into the garden to explore.  

 Fescues and Hebe ‘Karo Golden Esk’ run along the stone stream

Fescues and Hebe ‘Karo Golden Esk’ run along the stone stream

A vignette in the side yard plays with form and texture.  

Here's a dreamy shot of his back garden.  

 His back garden uses stumps to cap the gravel pathways studded with square cut bluestone. Simple and beautiful. Now let's take a closer look at some of the plants.

His back garden uses stumps to cap the gravel pathways studded with square cut bluestone. Simple and beautiful. Now let's take a closer look at some of the plants.

greg9.jpg
 Eryngium giganteum

Eryngium giganteum

Every year some 'helpful' pedestrian weeds this gorgeous thistle out of my garden.   Maybe the third try is the charm?

  Erica arborea  'Alberts Gold'

Erica arborea 'Alberts Gold'

greg17.jpg

A dangerous groundcover 

greg19.jpg
  Arctostaphylos  spp.

Arctostaphylos spp.

Greg's xeric garden overflows with an exciting plant palette.  Wouldn't you like to include some of his ideas into your garden?  Go visit Xera Plants website or go visit their shop. Growing a xeric garden is a win-win for the gardener and the environment. Just imagine the time that you would save without having to water your garden. 

Greg and Christian, thank you for a lovely evening of wine, friends, and laughter in your gorgeous garden! 

To see their garden through the eyes of an artist visit Tamara's Chickadee Garden's post and for a garden designer's perspective see Anna's Flutter and Hum post.