Garden Photo of the Day

Stylish Solutions to Drought Conditions

Entry to arbor

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Ines Malardino has figured out how to stylishly garden in a drought. Prepare to swoon!

"Sharing a few pictures of my gardens on a mostly level 12,000 sf lot in San Mateo, CA. Lots of brick at the driveway, court yard and walkways and added more to let go of the lawns as we are having a drought. We replaced lawn with flagstone and isotoma. There is a ‘mostly’ white theme throughout which is something I always wanted. Hydrangeas, oak leaf hydrangeas, camellias, evergreen azaleas, abutilon, boxwood, different clematis, and white roses on 2 arbors, evergreen clematis at another arbor. The rear garden has a very ‘Zen’ look I am told… Enjoying the colors and stage of the garden now and also looking forward as well to what spring in my newly landscaped garden will look like."

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Arbor to koi pond


Flagstone to Koi Pond

Overlooking trees at front court yard

Petunias at front side plantings

Rear garden and pond

Side path to rear garden

Water trough

View Comments


  1. diane_lasauce 12/11/2015

    Look forward to seeing photos of this garden in three years. Material should fill in nicely.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/11/2015

    Congrats to you, Ines, for working so beautifully with your current growing conditions and creating such pleasing garden ambiance. I wasn't familiar with the plant, isotoma, but I'm assuming its the ground cover growing so well between your flagstones? That's quite a handsome water trough in your last picture...what a fun find! Was it hard to get home? It almost looks like concrete but I imagine it is a galvanized metal.

  3. user-4691082 12/11/2015

    Just beautiful- I bet your neighbors are jealous!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 12/11/2015

    You've done such a wonderful job, Ines. I love all of the hardscaping choices and they go so well with the plants. The white gate and arbor are just begging to be entered and the photos really say 'garden-room' to me.

  5. User avater
    gringopeligroso 12/11/2015

    Altho my personal style leans heavily towards a more natural....(ok: Chaotic style,) there is a part of my heart which craves the look of bricked pathways. Perhaps it's an appreciation of the Frank Baum landscapes of our imaginations?? Beautiful solution to the harsh conditions y'all are still facing, and elegant "bones" to work with and flesh out if'n y'all's rains DO return... Or, perhaps I should say: "WHEN they return." ( nothing wrong with being a little optimistic!!)
    Love the friendly trees and open gateway photo beckoning an ambling for exploration of other views! I also love your Entry Arbor photo!! So welcoming!! Is that a climbing hydrangea on the right with the beautiful, twisted, gnarly trunk? Just curious. I have one, and it's settled in and has begun to flourish. But it's yearsss away from that beautiful presentation!!

  6. GrannyMay 12/11/2015

    Inez, I love moon-gates and yours is a beautiful one! Such a great welcome to your Jardin! Many of us are looking for ways to adapt to much drier summers, so it is always of interest to see how other gardeners manage the problem. In our area, as well as looking for drought tolerant ground-covers, we let our lawns go dormant, not watering them at all, and save the water for plants that would die without it.
    It is funny I had to look up Isotoma, not knowing what plant that might be. It turned out to be synonymous with one I am very familiar with, Pratia pedunculata 'Blue Star Creeper". I have that growing happily throughout a small patch of lawn that it seems to co-exist with, without any problem. Some people warn that it can be invasive and almost impossible to get rid of.

  7. GrannyCC 12/11/2015

    Inez, you have coped with the drought in a beautiful way. Your entry way is beautiful and welcoming.

  8. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 12/11/2015

    Your jardin looks like a true labor of love, Ines.I hope you'll treat us to more photos in the spring. It's always nice to see what people do to overcome drought conditions which we face every summer in our area.

  9. greengenes 12/11/2015

    Beautiful! Amazing for the drought you have had. Hopefully you will have some rain soon! Simply beautiful, Inez!

  10. perenniallycrazy 12/12/2015

    Smart planning and beautiful results Ines! I am definitely swooning.

  11. Cenepk10 12/13/2015

    Beautiful. When I moved to my home & started a garden here- we had weeks of 108• & no rain ... Worst drought here. Drought is frightening. So sorry you are dealing with that. But you've kept on keeping on. Good work ! Great attitude!!!!

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