Those of us who live in Southern California, where we receive very little rainfall, know what a challenge it is to create a beautifully landscaped yard. We face the choice of watering thirsty lawns frequently, or finding another way to work around our naturally dry climate. Fortunately, there are ways to create low water landscaping that is both attractive and cost-efficient.

Xeriscaping originated in the Southwest as a way to replace traditional grass lawns with attractive, low water options. Generally speaking, homeowners will choose xeriscaping for environmental reasons, but it will obviously benefit a household budget as well. In fact, the practice has become so popular that it’s spreading to other areas of the United States. Some homeowners are drawn to the promise of a low-maintenance yard, while others simply love the look of xeriscaping.

The most important thing to remember with low water landscaping is to plan, plan, and plan some more. Plants should be chosen wisely, and other accents such as decorative walls, rocks, and mulch should be considered. Bringing together various textures and colors will help build an attractive outdoor space that can be easily and inexpensively maintained. Obviously, hiring a professional with experience in this type of landscaping is the best way to go. The initial investment pays off quickly in the form of reduced water bills and reduced lawn maintenance.

Last year, we were honored to win the Rancho California Water District award for one of our low water landscaping projects. The contest challenged participants to demonstrate that careful planning and a dose of creativity can result in an attractive yard that isn’t a drain on natural resources. We used a combination of hardscape and drought-resistant plants, and the result was a lovely outdoor space that beautifully complemented the home’s architecture. Now, these homeowners have a beautiful, low-maintenance, and budget-friendly yard that will last for years to come.

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