We have recently moved from the North Coast - Cleveland, OH - to
Central "coast," CA (Atascadero, CA, which is about 20 mi. N of San
Luis Obispo, and halfway between LA and San Francisco.)
Needless to say, everything is different! I thought I had a good
handle on the Midwestern plants and trees in Ohio, and I was a
dedicated gardener. But I'm suffering from sensory overload out here
because all the plants seem new and strange. The "alien" feeling
hasn't worn off yet.
We are only 10 miles from the coast, but our climate is described as
more of a "high desert" - but I am not sure if this is accurate or
not. The higher elevation does make for more extremes than a typical
coastal climate. We have hotter summers (100 degrees F is not unheard
of), very cool nights (60s or 50s, even in summer), and even a couple
of winter frosts, although they are not considered "hard" ones. For
example, neighbors have told me that we can't grow bougainvillea here
(winters are too cold), even though I see it growing in the coastal
area, which is only 10 minutes away.
I was wondering: can anyone recommend some good books on xeriscaping
and on "high-desert" climates (if this is infact where I am)? Aside
from the temperature and humidity differences, I would like to garden
in a style that conserves water as much as possible - everything here
is so dry that is seems "crispy"!
Thanks for any info,