Garden Photo of the Day

Entry Garden in California

Drought and deer resistance make for a garden that thrives

Today’s photos come from Mario Herrada, a landscape designer in the Bay Area of California, who is sharing some photos of a beautiful entry garden created for a client in Kensington, California.

The water feature acts as the focal point for the garden. Drought-tolerant and deer-resistant plant material has been selected. Plant material has been chosen for the color of the foliage as well as for flower color. The ornamental grasses with their plumes moving to the slightest breeze create a relaxing atmosphere. The garden attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. A Connecticut bluestone staircase and walkway lead you to the front door of this classic ranch-style home.

Looking up at the entry garden from the front door, showing the steps leading down to the home from the street, with moving grasses and colorful foliage filling the view.

Mexican sageThe view from the street level, with a planting of Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha, Zones 8–10) blooming in the foreground.

aeoniumBeautiful clump of dark-leaved aeonium (Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’, Zones 9–11). Aeoniums are popular landscape succulents in warm climates. In colder climates you can easily overwinter them indoors, or choose a hardy succulent like a sedum or sempervivium.

dark-foliaged plantsPurple tones in the plumes of grass flowers (Pennisetum) are picked up by the dark-foliaged plants growing with them.

kangaroo pawPlanting at the base of the steps, with a water feature for a focal point, surrounded by colorful foliage and backed by the blooms of a yellow kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos, Zones 9–12).


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View Comments


  1. Musette1 06/12/2020

    an elegant garden - love the ornamental grasses interwoven throughout!

  2. zacate 06/12/2020

    Thank you.

  3. nwphillygardener 06/12/2020

    Exquisite photos! The large dark jar (water feature) is an intriguing focal "distraction" from the unusual feature of having to walk down, rather than up to reach the home. And the stunning color that surrounds that feature is so painterly with the grasses and linear character of the perennials

    1. zacate 06/12/2020

      Thank you.

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/12/2020


  5. sagebird52 06/12/2020

    Love the texture and color contrasts - magnificent !

    1. zacate 06/12/2020

      Thank you

  6. User avater
    simplesue 06/12/2020

    That land was super challenging being a downward slope! You really made it beautiful and stabilized the hill with a great garden! I looked at your website and you do really nice work.

    1. zacate 06/12/2020

      Thank you for looking at my website.

      1. zacate 06/12/2020

        Thank you.

  7. btucker9675 06/12/2020


    1. zacate 06/12/2020

      Thank you.

  8. Cenepk10 06/12/2020

    Gorgeous garden !!! Love the plantings.

    1. zacate 06/12/2020

      Thank you.

  9. user-7020748 06/12/2020

    A beautiful solution to a very challenging site. What a lovely view it presents from the house. Loved the colour combinations.

    1. zacate 06/12/2020

      Thank you.

  10. annek 06/12/2020

    Wow, one can feel the movement even through photographs. The colors are captivating and textural interest is very efficiently designed. I want to follow the paths everywhere

    1. zacate 06/12/2020

      Thank you for your comment.

    2. LadySurrey 06/20/2020

      My words exactly only infinitely better stated!

  11. LadySurrey 06/20/2020

    Wow, thank-you for sharing and inspiring. You have created a dream. I come from rainy Vancouver and cannot comprehend how that gorgeous garden, complete with hummingbird attracting flowers , can be drought resistant! I always love the sound, look and feel of moving waters and am particularly enamoured by what you have done with the yellow kangaroo paw frame.

    1. zacate 06/22/2020

      Hi, Thanks for the comments. The Key to creating a drought resistant garden in California is to use plants native to places with a "Mediterranean" climate, (Chile, South Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean region).

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