Sometimes, I think that we take for granted that we have some beautiful, endemic species of plants in our area. One is the Manzanita. While looking for a hedging plant for the cottage rose garden, I cam across many “hedge” plants that were not from our area s/a boxwood, cypress, holly, etc. All of them had their problems and were iffy choices for my hedges. Then I realized that good, old Manzanita would actually make a wonderful choice. It has low nutrient and water requirements, grows like a weed and can fill out quite nicely. It also has beautiful white, or pink flowers and pretty berries. It was the perfect solution!
I could have started my own plants, but I needed a lot of them and I needed them right away, so I opted to buying them from a California native plant nursery, Las Pilitas Nursery, in Santa Margarita. I chose ‘Louis Edmunds’ Manzanita, (Arctostaphylos stanfordiana bakeri,) because of it’s lovely, pink berries and appropriate size and height.
I plan to use it as a surrounding hedge and backdrop for the rose garden and also a privacy screen to divide the highway from the property.
Las Pilitas was great at getting the plants to me right away and in perfect shape. So far, I have planted about half of the plants, but have been delayed due to all of the rain that we’ve been getting lately. I’m also going to come up a little short on number of plants needed and Las Pilitas is completely sold out, so I plan to start some of my own Manzanitas for the back hedge. I don’t know what variety it is, but it looks very similar, only it has white flowers. They probably will have to wait until next year to be put into the ground, but since it’s the back wall and won’t be seen by many people, no problem.
The roses are on order and should arrive next month. The fountain is in place, (although still lying on its side right now,) and the paths and fences are designed, though not built yet. It’s going to be a long, rainy season, so I hope that we can get most of these things in place by spring.
As for the cottage itself, it is in “architecture purgatory.” We were told by the architect that it would take 2-3 weeks to get the calcs done and re-submit it to planning. It has now taken 9 months, with no end in sight. I’m not giving up hope.