If you have a large yard with some changes in elevation, and you want a natural feel, a dry creek bed is a lovely way to give flow and structure to your space.
Oaks or Sycamores, which need a lot of room, are potential trees to surround a dry creek bed. Woodland plants, grasses, sedges, or rush-like plants, and California natives like Ceanothus and Mimulus all help to create a beautiful natural-looking space. Succulents also find a place here. If you have a sitting area from which you can view your creek, you will really enjoy it.
I just designed a dry creek planted with some of my favorite California native plants, including Mimulus, Arctostaphylos and Ceanothus. I also used Chondropetalum tecorum among the boulders, a South African rush-like plant which is drought-tolerant, but looks like it belongs along a creek or stream.
After we removed the lawn, we started placing the boulders.
We sunk the boulders into the earth a few inches, so they look like they belong. We added Mexican River pebbles around and between the river rock boulders, and added plants and mulch. Kids love walking on the rocks! Natives do well planted small, and we had the roots of a mature Sycamore to worry about, so we planted very small plants.
|Newly Planted After|
|Boulder vignette ties in with creek|