WaterSmart Landscape Contest

Proud of your water-efficient landscape? Would you like to be recognized for your work in support of water conservation and neighborhood beautification? If so, enter this year’s WaterSmart Landscape Contest!  Known for many years as the California-Friendly Landscape Contest, this annual competition rewards drought-tolerant landscapes created or commissioned by customers of numerous San Diego County water agencies.

This year's contest deadline is April 30, 2018.  For more information and to download the entry form, please visit www.landscapecontest.com.


San Dieguito Water District's 2017 WaterSmart Landscape Contest Winners:


1st Place- Brendan Laurs

Brendan removed the lawn in his front yard and re-landscaped the area with WaterSmart plants and irrigation. The new plants include various succulents that were planted on low mounds, Dymondia that was put in between pavers along a walking path, drought-tolerant flowers, and an orange tree at the bottom end of the landscape. The sprinklers that were formerly used for the grass were converted to drip irrigation for the succulents, and microsprayers were installed for the path that is planted with Dymondia. The entire planted area is covered by a thick layer of mulch. The landscape is not watered in the winter and is watered 1-2x a week during the rest of the year. Rain barrels supply extra water for the trees as needed, and the landscape also receives additional water during the rainy season from an outfall located near the bench that drains some of the raingutters and sidewalks around the home. Brendan originally replaced the grass with the WaterSmart landscape to conserve water and save money on both watering and landscape maintenance. Later, he discovered many added benefits of the WaterSmart landscape- it is easy to take care of, attracts birds and butterflies, and does not require any chemical fertilizers.


2nd Place- John Cathey & Ron Oswald

John and Ron decided to replace their grass and shrubs with succulents and drought-tolerant plants.  Most of the lot was dominated by the three story twin home, stucco walls, and concrete walks and steps. They incorporated large planters to break up the hard surface areas and filled them with succulents that provide color and some privacy. They created terraced succulent gardens with boulders that are back filled with porous soil. The entire garden is dressed out with a mix of gravel, and stepping stones lead to a bench where they can sit and enjoy the view. The existing irrigation system, which had been running frequently to keep all the grass and shrubs alive, was capped off.  The succulents require very little watering, and John and Ron did not water at all during the winter due to all the rainfall. They lightly water once every couple of weeks during long periods without rain.  By choosing a wide variety of succulents they were able to achieve a diverse mix of textures and colors.  One nice surprise they had was that during the winter, many of the succulents put on a beautiful display of colorful flowers.  The maintenance is extremely limited, and they are able to save money on their water bills.  John and Ron are able to enjoy a beautiful garden with minimal upkeep and know that even in times of severe drought, their garden will thrive and bring continued beauty.


3rd Place- Elizabeth Anderson & Richard Macdonald

Elizabeth and Richard completed a modest addition to their home during 2016, and as a result of that project, demolished the front yard which had been predominantly a lawn accented by palm and fruit trees. Their new landscape was installed in early 2017 with the goals of eliminating the lawn, adding edible plants, planting California native or drought-tolerant plants, and installing a directed irrigation system and rain barrels for gravity fed manual irrigation. Elizabeth and Richard also installed a 40 sq. ft. bioretention area and added big stones up around the front of the house that are planted with strawberries, thyme, garlic, and chives as accents. The entire area is overlaid with Gardeners Walk-on Bark.

For more information on the annual WaterSmart Landscape Contest, please visit www.landscapecontest.com.