With recent reports of Los Angeles recording its driest four-year period in nearly 140 years, initiatives to strongly cut back on water usage in the region have been a high priority. In this effort, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. recently supplemented the floral gardens and sprinkler system surrounding the iconic dinosaur sculptures on Third Street Promenade with a drip watering system and succulent plants projected to save approximately 14,500 gallons of water per year. Over 2,000 succulent plants with eight variety types can now be seen at the dinosaur topiary sculptures located on Third Street between Broadway Ave. and Wilshire Blvd. Succulent plants were chosen because of their adaptation to extreme dry conditions by developing swollen fleshy stems and leaves that retain moisture.
Along with low water requirements, succulents need minimal maintenance and grow at a slow rate. Conceptualized by SQLA Landscape Architects, the new planters were designed to evoke the feel of a modern beachside community. Blue and green coastal hues from the blue spruce sedum and blue chalksticks varieties planted in a soft wave pattern reinforces a relaxed and breezy beach feel. Angelina sedum, agave and echeveria afterglow were planted to accent the design with their pinkish-lavender pops of color. The changing of the floral gardens to succulent plants comes in addition to other efforts that Downtown Santa Monica has taken to cut back on its water usage in the area. Last year, the iconic dinosaur fountains were turned off to be a visual reminder of California’s serious drought issues. As well as reducing the power washing schedule and instating new hand detailing to keep the parking structures within Downtown Santa Monica clean.