Walden Parents Dig In

September 18, 2015

Over the summer, the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street along the front of Walden School was replaced with Kurapia (Lippia nodiflora). This new low-water groundcover was developed for drought conditions and is tolerant of a range of soils and harsh conditions.

UC Davis completed a multi-year study of drought tolerant plants and Kurapia was one of the top three performers. Dark green with small, white, sterile flowers, the groundcover plugs spread their leaves to fill in next to each other, but the plant is non-invasive, because it does not re-seed.

Photos courtesy George Do.

Walden parents recently dug in to help the newly planted plugs by pulling weeds from the bed. Once the plugs have fully matured, weed invasion will be minimized. “Garden work is always a good way to start the day,” said one Walden parent. Teaching that we all have stewardship for the world in which we live is a cornerstone of Walden’s mission.

Several years ago, Walden dance teacher Daphne and her husband, John, replaced their traditional lawn with Phyla nodiflora, a close relative to the Lippia nodiflora planted at Walden. Daphne praised the plant, saying, “It’s a tough-as-nails, no-mow, drought tolerant ground cover, that unlike a lawn, is ornamented with pretty white flowers. Even if the plant dies back from drought or too much winter cold, it springs back from the rhizomes.”

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