If your idea of a drought tolerant garden is cactus and aloe, gravel and lots of weeds, then check out the Nature Garden at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.
Don’t let my photo fool you. Besides the water plants, the garden is filled with drought tolerant plants, the majority of them native plants from the Los Angeles region. If you wanted to get a sense of how the LA basin looked before concrete, you will see it here.
Filled with birds and other wildlife, the Nature Garden is a wonderful example of a urban wilderness, and is full of tips on how to recreate some of this in your own yard. I particularly like the mulch wall!
Paid admission to the museum is required. A bummer but it does make this all possible (plus afterwards you get to look at dinosaurs. Yea, dinosaurs!). You have to pay for parking too, though the Metro rail has two stops by the museum.
For more info: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
Photo by Alan Starbuck