Resources to help you plan your WaterSmart landscape

The Internet has an abundance of free information about water-efficient landscaping, from instructions on how to kill your lawn to guidelines for efficient irrigation methods.  Begin your search with the Resources Tab  on this website, where we have listed many of our favorite sites.

Be sure to visit our website, which contains before and after photos of beautiful landscapes, and includes the design plans and names of plants as well as our “A Homeowner’s Guide to a WaterSmart Landscape”.

Two other terrific sites are: California-Friendly Gardening for San Diego County and Garden Spot. In addition to photos of beautiful landscapes, both sites have extensive on-line databases of water-efficient plants, including photos and information about the plants, such as size, color of blooms, whether they attract wildlife such as butterflies, and more.

The Garden Spot also hosts free on-line “California Friendly Landscape and Gardening Classes”.

Another resource is very close to home.  Remember the old saying “imitation is the highest form of flattery?” Flatter your neighbors. A sure-fire way to end up with a landscape you’ll love is to simply copy existing landscapes that you admire. Walk around your neighborhood.  Identify what it is you like about a particular landscape; the plants, rocks, mulch, seating area, etc. If you’re feeling bold, knock on the front door of these homes and ask about their experience, which designer and/or contractor they used, etc. You’ll find most homeowners take pride in their landscape and love to talk about it.

Stores, nurseries and botanical gardens are other good sources of ideas.  Non-plant material, such as pavers, can greatly enhance a landscape. 

For plants, you can explore local nurseries to see what’s in season (be sure to check the Resources Tab for San Diego area nurseries). But for the widest selection of water-efficient plants, go to nurseries that specialize in them. Most of these nurseries maintain informative websites, including Tree of Life Nursery, Las Pilitas, California Native Plant Society, and Theodore Payne Foundation (google them and see for yourself!).

If you deserve a relaxing stroll through beautiful landscapes, take a short trip to one of our local botanical gardens to see the absolute beauty of water-efficient plants. Local gardens include the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College, San Diego Botanic Garden, and South Bay Botanic Garden.

Finally, professionals experienced in water-efficient landscapes can be a terrific choice. Be sure to check out some completed projects before committing to work with them to make sure their concept of “beautiful” is the same as yours.