One nice thing about our garden is that we have a host of evergreen trees and shrubs, so even during the winter the garden still looks pretty green. Of course, with our wonky rain cycle, Winter is usually the greener part of the year anyway. It is the summer months that turn everything brown. (or golden, as I prefer to say (SMILE)) We have a large Eucalyptus, Ficus, Carrotwood and pine trees in the garden along with a few deciduous trees like Ash, Camphor and our huge Elm tree out front. The azaleas, which make up the front garden are also evergreen. These azalea replace any lawn we might have in the front garden and I prefer doing their once-per-year haircut to the constant management of a lawn.
We host a party in the garden each summer and I am always a bit dismayed how rough it looks. The bulbs are all spent and the paths are dusty for want of rain. The roses can even start to look a little shabby. They like the sun, but the heat tends to wilt them or, during the hottest years, dry the blossoms while they are till on the plant.
While the trees do tend to shade the garden quite a bit and prevent us from growing vegetables, their benefits in cooling and reduction of our air conditioning bills is well worth it. They have become a bit of an expense, though, as they are so large that we can no longer prune them ourselves. We have to call in the tree crew that climbs up into the top of the trees and prunes from there. This is typically a $200-$300 expense for our largest trees, so you usually don’t do it more than every 2-3 years.
So, even though we don’t get snow here in Los Angeles, evergreens can keep your garden looking fine throughout the year much as they do in the colder climes of North America.