Despite El Nino’s appearance last winter, California’s drought woes are hardly over. If your water-guzzling lawn feels more like a liability than a boon to your property, it may be time to consider giving your yard a drought tolerant makeover.
A lawn-free yard doesn’t mean a dismal expanse of rocks or wood chips. California’s native plants offer a variety of options for turning your yard into a vibrant and naturally thriving swath of land. A good landscaper can help you determine a space that’s as beautiful as it is functional.
If you can’t decide whether or not the hassle is worth the expense, consider this: Drought resistant plants will cut down on your water waste and your water bill,
a benefit you could be reaping for many years to come. Perhaps more enticing is the Landscape Rebate Program. As of July 1, 2016, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has reinstated the program and is currently accepting applications. For a single-family home that’s a potential rebate of $1 per square foot, and in San Jose, Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, and Cupertino that return could double for the first 10,000 square feet.
Where to Start
Unless you’ve been watering with abandon, your lawn has likely seen better days. Put it out of its misery by replacing it with a selection of drought tolerant plants. A combination of native ornamental grasses and ground cover looks particularly nice. Add accents with clusters of succulents and cacti, small shrubs, or lavender. A mix of small and large containers can create texture and focal points. Fill them with robust, fragrant Mediterranean herbs like Greek oregano, sage, or rosemary.
If you need more color, a selection of perennials, including salvia and seaside daisy, will brighten things up. A larger plant like bougainvillea takes time to grow, but once established can be a stunning fixture in a drought resistant yard, producing bright bursts of stunning fuchsia. For an unexpected addition, choose unique plants with bold blooms (think birds of paradise or artichokes).
You don’t have to fill every free space with flora to create a beautiful yard that captures the simplicity of the Golden State’s arid environment. Large rocks or a thoughtfully arranged wood chip covering can establish natural focal points throughout the landscape. A simple pathway can also add some order to a large and varied mix of plant life, big and small.
While it may not include a sweeping East Coast lawn or a regal French manicured garden, a drought friendly yard is just right for California’s sun-baked landscape—and ideal for money savers and beauty seekers alike.
Considering a home remodel? Let Valley Home Builders share more of our property and design expertise with you. Reach out today for a free consultation with one of our expert representatives.