by Charlene Burgi
Do you have an area in the garden that remains in a state of disrepair? Nothing seems to thrive there when planted. Perhaps the soil is rocky, or there isn’t any irrigation reaching that area, or it is too steep for most plants to “take hold.” Or perhaps there are crevices in the existing landscape that are begging for a little accent plant.
These problem areas can turn into feature spots through the introduction of various succulents, otherwise known as “fat plants.” Marin County is fortunate to support most succulents year-round without the fear of them “melting” in freezing weather. They require very little soil to grow in or water to survive. Some, known as epiphytes, live on air and water alone! They will set their roots down on other plants, like trees, but will not be happy with their roots in soil. Many people prize the magnificent flowers some epiphytes produce.
Succulents come in an assortment of colors, sizes, shapes and blooming seasons . . . yes, most have flowers! They thrive on neglect, and deer don’t eat them. They store their water in their roots, stems and leaves and can withstand temperatures exceeding 125 degrees! Even though they are shallow-rooted, they draw on any moisture found in their environment.
Check your local nurseries if you are looking for the no-maintenance, no-water, difficult-to-work-area kind of plants. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from that can add interest to the garden and help solve that problem area.
Upcoming Events for the Landscape Professional
Oct. 16: Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Audit and Exam. Become QWEL-certified without sitting through 20 hours of classes. Study the materials on your own, then pass the written exam and perform a water audit by attending this class.
College of Marin – Indian Valley Campus, 1800 Ignacio Blvd., Novato
8:00 a.m. for water audit
10:00 a.m. for exam
Call Greg at (415) 945-1149 to R.S.V.P. and obtain study materials.
Oct. 27: Ordinance 414 and You. MMWD’s conservation ordinance meets the new state regulations. Learn how to keep your customers compliant while designing, upgrading and improving their property. Manufacturers will be on site with the latest water-efficient products on the market to help you. Open forum.
College of Marin – Indian Valley Campus, Building 12 Room 100, 1800 Ignacio Blvd., Novato
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
R.S.V.P. to Wendy at (415) 945-1512.
Nov. 4: California Landscape Contractors Association Water Management Certification Program. This one-day class will be held at College of Marin -Indian Valley Campus at 1800 Ignacio Blvd. in Novato. This course helps reduce landscape water usage by using a water audit, budget and advanced irrigation technology. Like QWEL, it carries the WaterSense label. To register, visit their website at www.clca.us/water.