• An ideal plant list for a new Sierra foothill garden

    by  • December 4, 2012 • landscaping, Plant Profiles

    Drought tolerant and colorful plants for any garden…

    Sometimes you find an ideal list of plants suitable for your area to save and keep.  This time one of my customers at the nursery happened to bring in an especially nice one. We were able to impress each other,..they were because most of the plants they expected to order were right in the nursery and me, because they had the ideal plant list for our area.

    Rockrose and Purple Euphorbia

    Rockrose and Purple Euphorbia

    When Tim and Barbara Fruehe, of Oakhurst, came into the True Value Garden Center they held a list of easy care drought tolerant and colorful plants they wanted for their garden. Each is perfect for a garden in the Sierra Foothills. Read about their garden renovation in the previous post here.

    How did they know what to plant? Each plant was one they had planted before at Barbara’s former home during another project. They wanted plants that could take 100º heat and cold down to 10 degrees. They wanted to discourage deer and wanted to avoid pruning and fertilizing chores. Tim especially likes penstemons  and sage because of their long bloom time, from early spring to nearly December.

    Take a look at the before and after:

    The house started out pink

    The house and garden before. There were large rockrose bushes the Fruehes kept.


    A path leads down from the golf course where the couple play often.

    The garden after…everything has changed! Paths were constructed and mulched garden beds were fomed inbetween.

    Here is their list, tried and true:

    Lavender, Spanish
    Lavender, French
    Lavender, English
    Rosemary, upright and prostrate
    Rockrose, Orchid and Sunset
    Santolina, grey and green

    Buddleia davidii Butterfly Bush

    Buddleia davidii Butterfly Bush

    Black-eyed Susan
    Ceanothus(wild lilac)
    Salvia, Autumn sage, Blue oak sage
    Nepeta, Catmint
    Day lilies
    Agastache, Hummingbird mint
    Blue fescue
    Russian sage

    Penstemon campanulata and Penstemon X gloxinioides ‘Midnight’ behind

    Penstemon campanulata and Penstemon X gloxinioides ‘Midnight’ behind

    While at the garden center the couple looked over the plants just in and also chose Crape myrtles, Hardy hibiscus and Mimulus or monkey flower, and some grasses to add to their list.


    I’ll be visiting after a year or so to update on what has worked the best for Tim and Barbara.

    True and pure red Autumn sage

    True and pure red Autumn sage

    More about Tim and Barbara’s garden

    Tim and Barbara’s carefree artist garden  The renovation

    Tim and Barbara’s ‘ideal’ Foothill garden: One year later


    More ideal plants:

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    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.