SMWD SustainaBlue Plants



SMWD SustainaBlue Landscapes features an interactive garden gallery and plant database to help you figure out how best to implement a sustainable landscape!  Find inspirational designs, beautiful plants, and landscape design assistance.  

SustainaBlue Plants



SMWD SustainaBlue Plant List:  Download our SMWD SustainaBlue Plant List which features easy-to-find plants to transform your landscape.  The list includes plant links to our SustainaBlue Landscapes website!




Plant Resources

SMWD SustainaBlue Landscapes

Free Landscape Designs with Plant Lists

Sunset Magazine's 21 Lawn-Free Yards

UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars

Eco-Friendly Landscape Design Plans

Avoid Planting Invasive Plants!

Tree of Life Nursery Planting Guide

Las Pilitas Nursery Guide: When to Plant CA Natives

Where to Buy Native & CA Friendly Plants

How to Care for Trees During Drought

February 2017

Swales for Rains -

The Watershed Approach to Landscaping

Got water? Slow it, spread it, and sink it!

Have you noticed standing water in your landscape, or excessive runoff from your roofs, downspouts, and hardscape?  Take advantage of this rainy season by using the Watershed Approach and create a swale in your landscape!  The watershed approach focuses on rainwater capture and use; reduction of pollution, greenhouse gases, and green waste; energy and cost savings; and human and wildlife habitat improvements.  A swale, which is a critical component in the watershed approach, is a shallow channel designed to SLOW water down, SPREAD it throughout the landscape, and SINK it into the soil.  Not only does this help trap and filter pollutants from runoff, it also keeps the water in the landscape so that your plants can thrive throughout the year with minimal irrigation.  Directing downspouts away from drains and into a swale will maximize your rain water capture.  Swales can be full of plants, lined with rocks to mimic a dry creek bed, or both.  Below are a few plant suggestions for your swale.  For more information on the Watershed Approach and how to build a swale for your property, check out these resources:

*Photo courtesy of G3.


Plants IN Swale

Carex pansa – California Meadow Sedge

Festuca californica – California Fescue

Elymus glaucus – Blue Wild Rye

Juncus patens – Grey Rush

Leymus triticoides – Creeping Wild Rye

Muhlenbergia rigens – Deergrass

Sisyrinchium bellum – Blue-eyed Grass


Plants ABOVE Swale

Achillea millefolium - Yarrow

Epilobium canum – California Fuchsia

Eriogomum fasciculatum – Buckwheat

Eschscholzia californica – California Poppy

Mimulus aurantiacus – Monkeyflower

Melampodium leucanthum – Blackfoot Daisy



 Turf Removal Examples

Hover your cursor over the photos to see the pre/post landscapes!  


turf removal pre post




Growing CA Native Plants


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