Conforms with the guiding principles of Eco-Friendly Landscaping

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What could be more eco-friendly than the on-site capture
and use of water from irrigation and storm events? This
landscape includes a variety of permeable materials and
elements to achieve just that. A number of walkways
provide easy access to all parts of this landscape so the
year-round color plant palette can be enjoyed.

Front Yard

  • Water from downspouts is channeled toward the dry creek bed
    and into the Rain Garden where it will collect and slowly soak into
    the ground, using the “slow the flow” principle for seasonal water
    management, which keeps water in the landscape instead of going
    into storm drains, streams, and rivers.
  • Plants for the Rain Garden are selected because they can thrive
    with seasonal rains, yet tolerate drier months.
  • Consistent with the principle to reuse materials and less to the
    landfill, soil excavated to make the rain garden depression was
    reused to create the adjacent berm planted with European Gray
    Sedge (Carex divulsa), adding movement to the garden and evoking
    a meadow-like style.
  • This corner property is subject to extensive exposure, not only to
    the sun, but also to heat from the street and noise from traffic. A
    sound barrier, visual screen, and “wall” of privacy are created with
    the layering of evergreen California native shrubs and installation of
    a fence.
  • Additional on-site water retention is achieved through the installation
    of permeable pavers, gravel and stepping stones used across the
    driveway and for patios and walkways.

Back Yard

  • When lawn is needed for family, pets, and activities, use of a
    low-maintenance lawn, such as a native “Mow Free”, can be the
    perfect solution. It can be left unmoved for a natural, meadow-like
  • Strategically positioned “rain chains” bring the soothing sound of
    trickling water into the garden.
  • A back yard patio provides a casual, shady retreat, which includes
    an overhead shade structure and permeable plum-colored pea
    gravel, neatly and discretely retained with metal edging. Another
    spacious patio lends itself to entertaining and Barbequing.


  • Using California natives and UC Arboretum All-Stars ensures that
    the durable plants selected for this landscape are well adapted
    to our climate and soils, resulting in cost saving due to lower
    maintenance and less plant replacement.
  • Plants are the right size for the space. Proper spacing and
    placement, along with proper care, results in little to no pruning and
    allows plants to grow to their natural form without outgrowing the
  • The red flower color of the Little John Bottlebrush (Callistemon x
    viminalis ‘Little John’), Rosemary Grevillea (Grevillea rosmarinifolia),
    and Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea) are softened with the
    silvery green-gray of the Little Ollie Dwarf Olive (Olea europaea
    ‘Little Ollie’), Compact Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens
    ‘Compacta’), Walker’s Low Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s
    Low’), and Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina).
  • Natural wood mulch on soil surfaces in planting areas helps to
    reduce weed growth, retain soil moisture, moderate the soil’s
    temperature, reduce erosion, and protect the soil from compaction,
    and add organic matter that feeds beneficial soil organisms.


  • Irrigation optimized for peak water efficiency.
  • Valve zones are apportioned into “hydrozones”, where plants of
    similar water needs are grouped together, and watered at the same
  • The lawn sprinklers use high-efficiency nozzles.
  • All plants are watered with “inline” drip tubing with built-in emitters.
  • A smart, weather-based controller is utilized for daily adjustment of
    the irrigation schedule to respond to changes in the weather.
  • Multiple flush points are specified for easier maintenance of the drip
  • During unusually dry winters and in drought conditions,
    supplemental watering may be necessary, especially for California
    natives and plants in rain gardens, because these plants rely on winter
    rains to sustain themselves.