Located just inside Descanso’s garden gate, the Center Circle is a demonstration garden that changes every few years. Past installations have included a garden of edibles and a California meadow planting. But the newest garden, which opened April 2015, is particularly timely as California grapples with the longest drought on record.
Conceived by the Descanso horticulture team and designed by Cassy Aoyagi of FormLA Landscaping, this new greenspace demonstrates that water-wise gardens can be colorful, leafy and lovely. This landscape requires less than half the water than a similar-sized plot of grass would require. This result was achieved through thoughtful planning and savvy plant choices, including California natives and plants from other countries with similar climates to Southern California’s.
The garden includes examples of water-permeable hardscape and a “rain garden” feature, both of which helps recharge the groundwater and reduce run-off, as well as highly efficient irrigation systems. Educational materials have been developed to offer guidance for home gardeners who want to make their own yards more beautiful, livable and sustainable. Download the plant list and informational brochure.