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Zone Your Garden

Lavender (shown), sage, and other plants that flourish in Mediterranean regions are good choices for late-summer color. But Mix has found that even in Sequim's arid climate—it gets just 13 inches of rain a year—what works for other perennials doesn't work for these drought-tolerant species. "We were killing them with too much water and nutrition," she says. So now she dedicates a couple of "dry" beds, with no irrigation, to their needs. Rather than mulch with compost, she lays water-permeable ground cloth, cuts X's through it to add plants, then spreads bark nuggets to keep the soil free of debris. Ongoing care is easy, since these plants do better when watered only rarely.
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