Because of several years of water shortages, California is several steps ahead of us here in BC regarding landscaping changes to accommodate for drought conditions. Yet, given that water is on everyone’s mind, we can learn a lot by proactively looking south in terms of what direction we may be headed and what they have learned and made successful.
(featured image source: http://www.houzz.com/pro/margie-grace/margie-grace-grace-design-associates)
As with any change, there is usually an upside if you look for it. I like what Michael Glassman of Davis, California, says about making the front yard a space that is used and not just ornamental: ‘“A lot of my clients are realizing that the front yard doesn’t have to be a throwaway space.” In areas that once would have been prime real estate for lawns, people are adding patios, hardscape and pathways. Glassman thinks more shade trees also should be planted to replace lawn. “It’s not just about drought-tolerant plants; it’s about reclaiming the front yard as a functional space.”
And Tim Jachlewski of In-Site Landscape Architecture Inc. in San Diego puts it well when he discusses the beauty of native plants and how they attract birds, bees and butterflies to our yards: “With turf being reserved for recreational use … the remaining landscape can be transformed into a ‘California style’ of native plants that provide seasonal interest, flowers, textures and habitat value that will attract birds, butterflies and pollinators to our landscapes. California offers many lush-looking native and climate-appropriate non-native plant species that will transform our landscapes into beautiful, dynamic settings to enjoy.”
In short, thirsty plants such as traditional green turf grass do have a place in recreational spaces –it’s hard to imagine golf courses or soccer fields without it — but when alternatives are used in your home’s yard, a lot can be gained.
Read the full article here: California Says Goodbye to the Sprawling Ornamental Lawn. It includes lots of great insight and perspective when dealing with limited water for landscaping. Includes inspiring photos too.
Contact us if you need help planning a water-smart landscape for your home. We specialize in beautiful, highly functional water wise landscaping Vancouver, Surrey, Whiterock or anywhere in the Lower Mainland. Enjoy observing the natural world in your own garden.