California is in its forth year of "exceptional drought", which means its high time to be thinking about how to use our water more efficiently. Since about half of a home's water use is estimated to go outdoors, that is an excellent place to start.
Two years ago we very excitedly prepared our brand new lawn. We tore out the thousands of weeds our home's prior owners had left us, we prepared the soil, we laid the seeds, and we watered. Every day for a two weeks we carefully watered our adorable little seedlings... And that winter, the lawn was gorgeous! It used hardly any water, and was a vibrant green that invited your toes to dance.
Then came summer. The heat of summer, and the lack of rainfall, meant that our gorgeous lawn was now very, very thirsty. We simply didn't have the heart to quench its thirst given the state's drought, so we watched as it turned from a lush green to a crispy wheat color. We tried a few shortcuts (yes, including lawn paint...which I'll talk more about soon), and then naively reseeded in the fall in anticipation of La Nina rains. They never came.
So this year we're a little smarter (or so we hope...) and are converting our front lawn to a water-saving Mediterranean landscape. Our succulents and water wise plants have been thriving through the dry spells despite getting hardly a drop of water - so let's learn from it and expand!
To help inspire the new landscaping, I turned to The Water-Saving Garden: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with a Lot Less Water . The book gives a lot of ideas on how to use rocks and plants to give the garden a flowing feel, that makes it less stark than a simple gravel-covered patch.
We've decided on a stone path to encourage movement and give some visual strength, surrounded by two beds of mixed succulents, lavender, and water wise bushes. I can't wait to share the results!
Looking for more ways to save water?
* I received The Water-Saving Garden free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.