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Changing It Out/saving Water

52K Views
My wife and I had talked about converting the lawn in the back yard to xeriscaping for several years. Over the last 4 years, California has experienced a terribly deep drought. This plus the California Turf Replacement Rebate Program provided the spark for us to undertake it last fall.
Time: 6 Weeks Cost: $1256.00 Difficulty: Advanced
  • changing it out saving water, go green, landscape, outdoor living
Looking east. Back yard before make over. The grass had died because we had to cut way back on watering due to the deep drought in northern California. Note the circular brick patio in the foreground that I had built it several years ago.
  • changing it out saving water, go green, landscape, outdoor living
Looking west from the pergola. Preparing the beds for the pathways. I laid and leveled 4 inches of sand in the trenches to lay the bricks on. This and laying the bricks were the hardest parts of the project and the most time consuming.
  • changing it out saving water, go green, landscape, outdoor living
Laying the bricks in the pathways. Kudos to my wife, she laid at least 75% of the bricks! Sorry I don't have pictures of laying the weed block cloth and placing the landscaping rocks on that. I also converted the lawn sprinkling station completely to drip irrigation. It supports the new drought tolerant plants and one tree in the project area as well as the bushes around the edge. Note circular brick patio in the background.
  • changing it out saving water, go green, landscape, outdoor living
Looking west after transition to xeriscaping. Note the boulders in the foreground. There is a slope here and the boulders are necessary to keep the landscape rock from sliding downhill when walked upon. The raised planters on the right side existed before the project. But we built the pathway in between them and down the slope. The landscape rocks are black lava and "salt and pepper rock".
  • changing it out saving water, go green, landscape, outdoor living
Looking west. Note the fairy tail grass. It is a newly planted drought tolerant plant.
  • changing it out saving water, go green, landscape, outdoor living
Looking west from pergola. Note new brick pathways and new raised vegetable garden in center background. Alot of hard work but fun, particularly since state of California paid for materials under their turf replacement program. Converted 932 square feet of grass lawn.
  • Kathy Bitzan
    Kathy Bitzan Olympia, WA

    What a great yard, I've been looking for something more decorative to do with my yard and I think this fits the bill. It's all rock and was here when I bought the home but I thought low maintenance would be good, I miss the grass and have to go to

  • Lee Delaney
    Lee Delaney Redding, CA

    Thanks for your kind comments Kathy. It was a lot of hard work but fun. Have to admit, my wife was the brains behind it plus she laid most of the bricks. Have fun with your yard.

  • Michelle Longo Pernula

    When a homeowner purchases a home, they need to take into account earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, drought, termites, all the things that can happen to the home, yard and environment. Why should government pay people to redecorate their yards for

  • Terrisa Karaus
    Terrisa Karaus Mount Sterling, KY

    Tons of rain and tons of grass here in the rolling hills of Kentucky. This is absolutely beautiful and I would do this if we had a small yard. Well done!!!

  • Lee Delaney
    Lee Delaney Redding, CA

    Thanks Terrisa. We are still adding some garden soil and bark chips. The type of work did change from mowing and trimming the grass to keeping leaves, branches, etc. picked up off the rocks. That is good though, gets me outside!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!