Making a drought tolerant garden part 2

We have now removed 2” of top soil from the curb and in a fit of eagerness decided to rip out the sad dying grass in the front garden. The soil was removed to take out the tenacious grass roots as well as create space for the new sandy soil that is better suited to agave plants that require good drainage.

 If you live in Los Angeles you can dispose of your unwanted soil at one of the city’s landfill facilities you will be charged by the ton and will have to haul it yourself.

Front garden.jpg


The next step will be to compact the remaining soil so that a weed barrier can be laid flat on top to act as a taut surface for the decomposed granite (d.g.) The soil could be compacted manually with a tamper but as we are also compacting 2” of loose d.g. we will be renting a flat- bed compactor from our local Home Depot.

The front garden has been designed so that there will be 2 types of terrain, one for walking and one that will be decorative with drought tolerant plants and pea gravel. We have chosen a gold d.g. that is very fine for the walkways and a natural mixed pea gravel for the planted areas. The supplier of both materials,  All Valley Sand and Gravel has a useful site calculator that helped me gauge how much of each to buy and thankfully as we need a few tons of each they also will deliver to the Los Angeles area.


With the help of Alex at All Valley Sand and Gravel we were able to see samples of pea gravel, d.g. and crushed 1” natural rocks and elected to use the pea gravel as it will bed down more easily and will be less problematic underfoot.