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7 Water Saving Plants for Eichler and Midcentury Moden Home Gardens

April 14 2015
April 14 2015


With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, there's no doubt that homeowners should consider investing in water saving remodels that'll reduce unnecessary water usage.  In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds.  Conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation, and reducing any pollution due to leaks. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by community wide household water conservation. Talk about how small contributions can go a long way! Since we know that home gardens can potentially hike up water usage, we figured this would be a good place to start. There are a bunch of drought resistant plants Eichler incorporated into his gardens and atriums that actually enhanced the midcentury modern appeal of his homes. Typical Eichler home gardens don't usually feature lots of colorful flowers and fruitful trees, but rather vibrant neutrally colored plants that don't need too much maintenance or care. In this blog, we'll give you examples of some staple Eichler plants that landscapers use in order to cut down water usage. Please note that you can extend your research within the categories laid out for you (succulents, cactus, grasses, flowers) if you find that the specific plant mentioned doesn't suit you.


1. Agave Attenuata

Agave Attenuata

Agave attenuata is a species of agave sometimes known as the "lion's tail," "swan's neck," or "foxtail" for its development of a curved stem, unusual among agaves. This plant is commonly used as decorative pieces because it has no teeth or terminal spines and give off a beautiful yellowish green accent. Since this plant can tend to grow pretty large, you'll only need to add a few to your garden.  Make it stand out by surrounding it with smaller agave species or rocks to hold it in place.

2. Sedum Rupestre "Angelina"

Sedum Rupestre

This is a nice, easy plant that tends to please everyone.  It has a quick spreading ground cover with needle-like foliage that turns golden yellow in the sun after it emerges.  In the fall it turns to rich shades of orange and red, adding a burst of cheerful color to any garden.  Just due to the color properties alone, this plant is a landscaper favorite. Yellow flowers will appear in mid-summer which makes it great for containers and hanging baskets, or as an underplanting in the full sun or bright shade garden.

3. Barrel Cactus

Barrel Cactus

Golden spines cover this slow-growing native Mexican cactus that reaches over three feet in height after maturity. Barrel cactus buds typically start to bloom in April with a bright yellow or orange flower. With just a few of these plants placed in clusters of two or three, you're able to create a desert inspired garden. Just a warning - take caution with these plants because the spines can puncture the human skin. It's most commonly placed in garden areas near the front of the house in order to ward off intruders. Slightly kidding ;)


4. New Zealand Flax

New Zealand Flax

New Zealand Flax, also known as 'Rainbow Warrior', is an excellent accent plant for the garden and very commonly used amongst Eichler homeowners. The Evergreen leaves are long, narrow, and grow upright, while the clusters of flowers grow on spikes above the foliage in late spring and summer. The leaves are darker salmon and turn into a cream color as they age, which blends well with common midcentury modern colors.

5. Upright Asparagus Fern

Upright Asparagus Fern

Asparagus fern is a South African native which is not a fern, but is related to the edible asparagus. The bright green, ferny foliage of this tender perennial makes it a nice houseplant and a good counterpoint to brightly colored flowers in an outdoor seasonal planting. Asparagus fern is a great houseplant for novice gardeners because it doesn’t require any special care. It grows well in direct or bright indirect light (the brighter the light, the faster it will grow) and because of the tuberous roots which store water, it can tolerate periods of neglect. This is another great staple plant that many Eichler homeowners use.

6. Helictotrichon sempervirens "Blue Oat Grass"

Helictotrichon sempervirens


Helictotrichon sempervirens is a bunchgrass often used as an ornamental grass in garden design and landscaping. The grass blooms with pale blue-green flowers in May to August, with the blue accent being a hallmark of this plant. This plant is a landscaper staple because it tolerates gravelly, infertile soils and drought once it's established. It pairs really well with purple or silver leaved plants due to it's texture and color. We recommend either using it sparingly to compliment your sidewalk entrance (as pictured above) or combining it with the Agastache rugosa ("Korean Mint") plant mentioned below.


7. Agastache rugosa ("Korean Mint")

Agastache rugosa (

This beautiful violet/lavender plant is a very special plant to have in your garden due to many reasons. The first one being that it's a great attraction for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. These insects will pollinate and give life to your garden. Second reason is that it's a great little plant that's easy to grow with a nice licorice scent to it. Although it's recommended that the plant be watered regularly, it can survive with minimal water and through drastic weather changes. Lastly, it provides medicinal benefits and is commonly use amongst Asian cultures for it's antibacterial properties. This plant adds a beautiful touch of color to any midcentury modern home and compliments blue/green plants the best.

For more information about Eichler Homes or Water Saving Midcentury Modern Plants, contact your Sunnyvale Real Estate Experts & Eichler Real Estate Experts Today!

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