It is known to all of us that California continues to suffer from a severe drought, and water-saving measures are a new way of life for most Californians. It is a growing trend for homeowners to take out their grass yards, in an effort to reduce water use, both for the sake of the environment as well as our wallets. This drastic change obviously affects the look of our property, but with creativity and open-mindedness, it’s possible to keep our outdoor living spaces elegant and inviting, while helping our environment at the same time.
Once you have made the decision to remove your grass, it’s time to develop a plan for how you will replace it. Hiring a landscaping designer for assistance is a safe way to get started, but if you are creative and have the time, there are many resources online for inspiration and education about your options. If you do go the landscaper route, be sure that he/she is well versed in issues specific to California’s drought.
Sustainable landscaping usually entails replacing grass and other water-guzzling greenery with drought-tolerant native plants and hardscaping. Choosing a design that incorporates areas of permeable paving, such as deconstructed granite or pea gravel, allows rainwater to seep into the ground rather than running off the property. Water-efficient drip irrigation systems and weather sensitive irrigation controllers are customized to your plant and succulent layout, and are both environmentally conscious and financially frugal. Using paver stones with borders of greenery also provides an elegant alternative to grass. Defining the space with a range of plantbed borders, pathways, low retaining walls, pergolas, and hardscape gives your outdoor space function and flow.
Outdoor furniture plays an even more important role in delineating the shape and function of your space. Creating multiple nooks for lounge seating, a fire pit, and eating areas can provide structure to your yard design. When shopping for outdoor furniture and accessories, investing in stylish quality materials can have an immediate impact on the tone of your property and how you feel in your living spaces.
Because of California’s drought, many regional utility companies throughout the state are still rewarding rebates to property owners who replace their yards. The monetary amount and requirements vary by agency, so visit your utility provider’s website for specifics.