It takes color, height, texture — and patience — to make a landscape – California News

It takes color, height, texture — and patience — to make a landscape – California News




REDLANDS >> Planning and restraint can be a gardener’s best friend in landscape design.

“People are often impatient and want instant gratification, so they plant several things and then over time they mound up,” said Oscar Amaral, a Redlands-based contractor and landscape designer.

A better way, Amaral said, is to take time to consider texture, color and height before planting.

“If you want to transform a big area you start with the biggest plants in the back,” he said.

Amaral, owner of BGA Exterior Design and Landscape, began designing landscapes in 1992 as part of his construction company.

One of his favorite larger plant varieties is westringia, a drought-tolerant Australian shrub he said has great soft texture and blooms repeatedly throughout the year.

For a moderate-height plant, Amaral suggests berberis crimson pygmy, otherwise known as barberry. Amaral said the deciduous plant is drought-tolerant and has colorful foliage. “Very few things give you that deep red and purple color like barberry,” he said.

Another slightly taller variety he recommends is ceanothus Yankee Point because it doesn’t look drought-tolerant, is green and flowers.

For lower ground cover he suggests a shrub rose known as red ribbons. Amaral uses them a lot in his landscape designs for the burst of red color in the bud petals. He said the only downfall is that deer like to munch on them so they are best for more residential areas.

For a customer looking for faster growing ground cover, Amaral suggest acacia redolens, or low boy, which has a long, greenish gray leaf and is very drought-tolerant.

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