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Three Chaparral Borders

Articles: Three Chaparral Borders

Lupinus latifolius. Photograph by Alan M. Orthof.
[Chaparral] is the most conspicuous plant community in the state. Its closest equivalents elsewhere… are the Mediterranean coast maquis, the Australian “bush” and the New Zealand “scrub.”

From scrub oak, or chaparro, comes the term chaparral. It is because chaparral contains so much formidable chaparro that those who penetrate it on horseback encase their legs in chaparreros or chaparajos or just plain “chaps. “
Lester Rowntree, Flowering Shrubs of California

Steep banks, light soil, and a western exposure are not ideal conditions for a perennial border, but they are what I have to work with as horticulturist at Earthside Nature Center in Pasadena, California. Fortunately, the native flora of California includes many plants that will accept such conditions, even with little or no summer watering. These l include in my chaparral borders: one in a very hot location with no summer water, one in a slightly cooler situation with some summer water, and another designed to attract hummingbirds.

The hottest and driest of my borders edges a large hillside devo...


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