Dramatic in scale and distinct in form, the broad leaves of palms and thick spiny spikes of succulents that typify the
Santa Barbara landscape
are the ever-present staples that lend the region an identity and its prototypical design language.
At the human scale, homeowners look to smaller materials such as sub shrubs and perennials to bring texture, color, and interest to their gardens. Complementing larger tropicals in times of drought, however, can be difficult. Many prolific bloomers and other delicate plants cannot stand up to all-day sun exposure and dry conditions, leaving few options for giving one’s landscape that personal touch.
Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha), is a great way to add softer textures, long lasting color, and interest at the smaller scale. Its compact size and tolerance to drought, as well, makes it a suitable addition to most any garden. Low and mounded and reaching just 3’ tall and wide, the plant works exceptionally well in the garden border or as a soft backdrop to accent plants.
Upright lavender spikes bring color to the
garden throughout the warm seasons,
its peak bloom time occurring the spring and fall. Hairy white stems support narrow, lacy leaves that are delicate and bring interest even when the plant is not in full bloom.