SustainaBlue Landscapes Tour

Install Date:  October 2015     Designer:  Landscape Designer     Installer:  Landscaper & Homeowner

Come see this CA native garden in all its wild and natural beauty! Wander down this landscape’s decomposed granite pathway to take in the sweet smell of the sages and enjoy the shade of the Palo Verde tree. Doesn’t that tree make a real statement? This garden offers a big bonus – once established, the homeowners have to put in only the occasional effort to maintain it!


Install Date:  October 2016     Designer:  My Avant Garden     Installer:  Tree of Life Nursery

Step into this serene, fragrant meadow and admire all the vibrant shades of green! These homeowners transformed their front yard from a traditional lawn into a thriving native haven. Now, butterflies and hummingbirds visit this garden frequently. The homeowners’ favorite part of their garden is the swale. When it rains, they love to watch the swale in action, pooling and collecting rainwater to be used for the garden.


Install Date:  April 2017     Designer:  My Avant Garden     Installer:  Tree of Life Nursery

This homeowner upgraded from their old lawn that was filled with bald spots, different grasses, and weeds. Now, this lush front yard is absolutely bursting with color and texture – don’t forget to take in all the scents, too! Take some time to notice the different features that are incorporated in this landscape, like the rainchain and winding swale. This garden is both beautiful and functional – designed to keep rainwater on-site!


Install Date:  August 2016     Designer:  Green Thumb Nursery     Installer:  Landscaper

Interested in a nature walk? Follow this home’s winding decomposed granite pathway from the front yard and into the backyard. While on the way, you may just run into some local wildlife – butterflies, hummingbirds, and lizards. This homeowner completed a full-scale landscape transformation, converting their boring lawn into a colorful and dynamic garden that saves water!


Install Date:  July 2017     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

After getting discouraged with trying to revive a dying lawn to no avail, this homeowner was finally motivated to relandscape their front yard. Wouldn’t you say that this garden is like a real, living painting? With a color palette of orange, yellow, gray, and dark green, this is a succulent dream! Just like an interesting piece of artwork, notice the application of repetition and the use of varying textures.


Install Date:  July 2014     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

This is a garden with a unique personality and aesthetic! This homeowner designed and constructed their front yard themselves to reduce their outdoor water usage. Notice the use of river rock, lava rock, and boulders as accents and as groundcover throughout the garden. Showcasing a mixture of succulents and cacti, this front yard offers pleasing pops of color.


Install Date:  August 2017     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Landscaper

Pro-tip: You can still have the aesthetic of a lawn and achieve major water savings – simply use the lawn alternative and drought tolerant groundcover dymondia ‘silver carpet,’ like this homeowner! Notice the harmony and balance demonstrated in this garden with the diverse textures, colors, and shapes of these Mediterranean-inspired plants. Don’t forget to check out the backyard…you don’t want to miss out on the stunning view!


Install Date:  May 1993     Designer:  Landscape Designer     Installer:  Landscaper

Are you a lover of cacti, the desert, and a Southwest theme? Then you can’t miss this front yard. This bold garden is an absolute treat – just look at that saguaro cactus! These homeowners are real pioneers in low water use landscaping. Established in 1993, this garden was on the very cutting edge of water conservation. This front yard is a staple in their neighborhood, packing quite a visual punch!


Install Date:  April 2016     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to chat with a professional landscape architect! This homeowner put their skills to the test and designed and installed their front yard themselves. This garden is rich in texture, color, and shape, teeming with different types of drought tolerant plants. This yard proves that a healthy and vibrant garden does not need to come at a high cost of water use or lots of maintenance.


Install Date:  April 2016     Designer:  My Avant Garden     Installer:  Tree of Life Nursery

Looking for a sustainable, long-term solution, this homeowner transformed their front yard from patches of turf and dirt to a holistic ecosystem. The swale captures rainwater and keeps runoff and harmful pollutants from our waterways, while the CA native plants provide colorful aesthetics and year-round habitat. This homeowner’s favorite aspect of their yard is the smell of the new, blooming flowers – it’s a great reminder in the morning to stop and enjoy the day!



SustainaBlue Landscapes Tour

SMWD’s first ever SustainaBlue Landscapes Tour featured homes with outstanding, sustainable landscapes right here in our service area.  This self-guided tour gave participants the opportunity to visit these beautiful landscapes and speak with the homeowners.



Install Date:  April 1995     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

As a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Foundation, this spectacular landscape is bursting with life.  Low-growing CA native plants are an important food source and habitat for pollinators and make wildlife watching easy from any view point!  The bird bath provides a vital source of water, while the grasses create a meadow-like atmosphere.  


Install Date:  July 2016     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

Interested in using water efficiently and offering habitat value, this homeowner transformed the front yard from turf to a native haven.  A permeable pathway was also installed to provide a designated entryway and better functionality.  Packed with CA native plants and a swale, this landscape proves just how much you can do with a small space!


Install Date:  January 2010     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

This front yard reminds us that our landscapes are so much more than just open spaces - they can be fun and creative too!  Take some time to admire all of the whimsy this landscape has to offer.  Keep an eye out for hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies which will no doubt be attracted to all of the colorful flowers!   


Install Date:  April 2016     Designer:  SMWD Landscape Kit Rebate     Installer:  Tree of Life Nursery

Looking for a sustainable, long-term solution, this homeowner used the SMWD Landscape Kit Rebate to transform this front yard from patches of turf and dirt to a holistic ecosystem.  The swale captures rain water and keeps runoff and harmful pollutants from our waterways, while the CA native plants provide colorful aesthetics and year-round habitat. 


Install Date:  October 2014     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Licensed Contractor

Do you share your front yard with a neighbor?  Here is a great example of how to blend your landscapes together while keeping your own personal touches intact!  This homeowner added a decomposed granite walkway to make the landscape accessible and interactive, and added a permeable patio for a welcoming entry and seating area.


Install Date:  March 2015     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

This homeowner’s passion for sustainability brought this landscape to life!  Permeability throughout builds healthy, living soil and allows water to soak into the landscape.  These two important dynamics create the foundation for a thriving landscape such as this - even during the hottest days of summer.  Be sure to check out the rain chain too!


Install Date:  September 2016     Designer:  SMWD Landscape Kit Rebate     Installer:  Tree of Life Nursery

Only 7 months old, this landscape is already flourishing with color.  The downspout from the roof is directed straight into the swale, allowing for maximum rain water capture and minimal runoff.  The great diversity of CA natives will provide a habitat for local wildlife year-round.  A bench gives the homeowners the opportunity to stop and enjoy this beauty! 


Install Date:  May 2015     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

Looking to establish a sense of place in their landscape, these homeowners chose to use CA native plants to replace their once water-thirsty lawn.  This well-established landscape features medium to large sized CA natives that are frequented by swallowtail butterflies, bumble bees, and hummingbirds.  In full bloom, this landscape is stunning!


Install Date:  March 2015     Designer:  Landscape Designer     Installer:  Licensed Contractor

A once turf-dominated landscape with a dark, narrow entryway, this landscape is now an airy and pleasant space to unwind and enjoy the outdoors.  CA native plants contribute to this relaxed and natural atmosphere, along with the calming sounds of the water fountain.  Be sure to ask the homeowner about the visitors that frequent this fountain!  


Install Date:  September 2016     Designer:  SMWD Landscape Kit Rebate     Installer:  Tree of Life Nursery

Enthusiastic about the watershed approach and ready to get rid of the turf, these homeowners found the SMWD Landscape Kit Rebate to be a perfect solution.  This landscape is still quite young at only 6 months old, but the rain water captured by the swale this past winter will help this landscape get established in no time!


Install Date:  June 2015     Designer:  Landscape Designer     Installer:  Licensed Contractor

This dynamic and colorful landscape features a variety of low water use and CA native plants.  The rain chain slows water flowing from the roof and directs it through the swale system where it can infiltrate into the soil.  Bright yellow Sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri) line the walkway for a cheerful entrance.



Install Date:  September 2015     Designer:  Landscape Designer     Installer:  Gardener

Lacking a proper entryway and with expansive areas of turf throughout their property, these homeowners were ready for a change.  This landscape has permeable walkways with flagstone and decomposed granite, rain barrels, and CA native plants.  The silvery-gray mounds of  Catalina Silverlace (Eriophyllum ‘Canyon Silver’) add color and interest all year!



Install Date:  February 2016     Designer:  Homeowner, Designer & Contractor     Installer:  Licensed Contractor

Low maintenance and an updated look were the priorities for this homeowner’s landscape.  To achieve this, modern block stepping stones with Silver Carpet groundcover were chosen as the pathway.  The plants require little water and maintenance, yet pop with color.  Different heights of plants add interest to this small front yard area year-round.


Install Date:  October 2015     Designer:  Landscape Designer     Installer:  Landscaper & Homeowner

Interested in a quick nature walk?  Wander down this landscape’s decomposed granite path to take in the sweet smell of the sages and brilliantly colored CA natives.  Our native Dudleyas are the fun, succulent accents brightening up the shade of the Palo Verde tree.  Organic, fine-grained mulch keeps this landscape at its healthiest!



Install Date:  July 2015     Designer:  Homeowner     Installer:  Homeowner

Ready to give their Japanese style landscape a modern twist, these residents used large, straight walking planks to contrast with the curving walkways and round stones.  The varying colors of gravel and different types of edging add tons of interest.  Giant Flax provide height to an otherwise low-growing landscape – not to mention a dramatic flare!


Install Date:  March 2014     Designer:  Mike Evans, Tree of Life Nursery     Installer:  Mike Evans, Tree of Life Nursery

Reata Park & Event Center is a shining example of our state’s beautiful, native landscape.  One of the largest and most extensive CA native plant gardens in the state, Reata Park was designed by CA native plant specialist and Tree of Life Nursery owner, Mike Evans.  The park is divided into multiple demonstration gardens complete with plant ID signs, and is literally bursting with color.  Join Goin’ Native Therapeutic Gardens for a free interpretive walk of the site and other great seminars and activities. 



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