This is as close as Southern California gets to a Christmas scene--bright coral candles floating above a snowy-white carpet. The stunning naked coral tree, Erythrina coralloides , blooms after the holiday season but before leaves appear and is valued as much for its candelabra of angular winter branches as for its flaming red flowers.
Del Mar landscape designer Linda Chisari planted the ground cover snow-in-summer in the fall for a spectacular show in early spring. Even out of bloom, the silver-leaved Cerastium tomentosum glistens on the banks of this dry stream bed. The rocky bed replaces a thirsty lawn and provides access to this street-side garden above Black's Beach in La Jolla. Pretending they were trout fishermen, Chisari and the contractor laid out rocks and gravel to mimic a natural stream bed, noting where boulders might pinch the stream or cause water to dig out a depression (which is where the big trout would be).