Om is in for 2012 with zen-ful outdoor spaces and drought-tolerant plants and landscaping. The look is trending at some of the most luxurious resorts, as well as progressive shopping centers like SoCo, seen above. And you can get the look in your own backyard.
It’s lush, in its own way, but with low risk and a lot less watering. If you’re going for this garden style, order yourself a slew of DG (Decomposed Granite) to begin your blank canvas and create pathways, then select your succulents and add a tranquil water feature. And get creative; drought-tolerant doesn’t mean without inspiration. Garden gal and resourceful landscape guru Autumn Rau of ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance (which manages the lush Montage Laguna Beach and the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel and many more) gave us the dirt on where to find the best plants to create your own Zen retreat.
Tree of Life Nursery
You may want to make this nursery your first stop on your OC path of Om. They have a fantastic selection of California-native plants; the largest in the state. The nursery supplies a high-quality line of over 500 species and varieties for landscaping at the wholesale level. It’s located on 40 acres of the historic Rancho Mission Viejo in San Juan Capistrano.
Laguna Gardens Nursery
If you don’t want to be overwhelmed by choices and would rather get in and get out quick, this charming nursery off the 133 in Laguna Canyon specializes in hard-to-find plants. There are lots of succulents here, as seen in this collective cartful. And the place has personality, too, with a chicken coop in back and friendly staff to help you out.
Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano also has a nice retail selection of succulents and drought-tolerant plants. It’s a family-owned garden center that’s been around since 1995. As they say, they’re “eager to help you create the garden of your dreams.” How soulfully said.
The Plant Stand
The Plant Stand in Costa Mesa is a recommended resource as well, and they have workshops every Saturday for homeowners to learn how to become gardening gurus. The Plant Stand has a wide variety of plants from around the world. They travel far and wide to choose only the best products, and then have them shipped directly to the warehouse (so no middleman).
Finally, take a visit to SoCo (the South Coast Collection) in Costa Mesa. It’s not a nursery, but you can shop the center for lots of inspiration. The new shopping destination and community hangout is completely landscaped in zen gardens and courtyards. It’s a must-see for creative ideation with bamboo, rock features, fountains, potted succulents, paths of DG and tall grasses. The shopping is quite zentastic also.
Debbie Lavdas is a Southern California freelance writer and the Zenmaster of her own enlightened backyard, which flows free with DG, succulents and waterfalls in all directions. You can keep up with her and her many writings at Debbie in the OC.