There wasn't anything wrong with the gray color, but the palette of a xeric garden tends to be heavy on the gray-green anyway, and when you add in a little winter dormancy, the whole thing can start to look pretty bland and dreary. I don't mind the look of a sleeping garden too much, since I know that come spring and summer (along with the addition of some new plants in the freshly-formed arroyo planting bed you see to the right of the sidewalk), the whole thing will be calm and restful, and not dreary at all. On the matter of dormancy, though: Are we not meant to scale back on the full-tilt rocketry of life from time to time? Dampen our riotous blooms a bit? Doesn't it rest our spirits and allow us to recharge? So, too, the garden. Leave it be.
Even so, I am also aware that others, unfamiliar with the concepts of either xeriscaping or dormancy, might look at my front yard and be put off by what they perceive as a "dead" landscape. So I thought I'd brighten things up with a small pop of color to chase away the winter doldrums. After all, ugliness, while often misunderstood, is seldom inspirational, and few would look at my winter front yard and be moved by all that resting plant matter to introduce a touch of the xeric to their own gardens.
So a little something was needed as an antidote--a promise of color to come, an end to winter sleep. I picked the deep terra cotta to go with that palette of gray-greens and browns, since foliage, rather than flowers, tends to dominate the xeric landscape. I think it goes nicely with the hues in the wine patio and the arroyo, too.
And come the end of this week of exams, banquets, and commencements, I plan on a partaking in a little dormancy of my own.