Sherie Bolen's trial and error approach has proven to work well in her CA garden.
"My approach to maintaining a large garden on California’s Central Coast (a few miles inland from Monterey Bay) is to use plants that require very little care. Research plus the trial & error method of selecting plants that can survive in our Oak Woodlands environment without regular irrigation and no fertilizers has resulted in a garden that has survived during our prolonged drought years. A mix of California natives and other plants from Mediterranean climates seems to be working, and most of the water is supplied by morning fog rolling in from the bay. A small lawn, recently replaced with drought tolerant Fescue, is the only exception to receive regular but infrequent irrigation."
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