Changing It Out/saving Water

Lee Delaney
by Lee Delaney
4 Materials
6 Weeks
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Looking west. Note the fairy tail grass. It is a newly planted drought tolerant plant.
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.
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 10 questions
  • Em Em on Mar 09, 2018

    What did you use on the outside of the brick pathway to keep bricks in line?

  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 22, 2019

    Awesome brickwork! So it's dig it out, tamp some sand, put a weed cloth barrier, then bricks, then more sand or is it mortar? Didn't see where you specified. Really nice!

  • Lavender Lavender on Jan 22, 2019

    How much did it all cost?

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4 of 117 comments
  • D fuhrman D fuhrman on Mar 07, 2020

    I love this yard. There are so many interesting places for your eyes to take in.

    • Lee Delaney Lee Delaney on Mar 07, 2020

      Thank you so very much. We just kind of winged the design. St love it as much as when we did it.

  • Lydia Lydia on Feb 24, 2021

    Beautiful! Kinda Zen feeling! Great job!

    • Lee Delaney Lee Delaney on Feb 26, 2021

      Thanks very much for your comment. It did create a whole different feeling in the backyard. It was a blast to do although hard work for two 70 year olds!!