The winner of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest created a wildlife habitat by removing grass and replacing it with climate-appropriate plants. The District’s Board of Directors honored Laura Lisauskas as the winner of the contest during its September 9 meeting.
The winner of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest created a wildlife habitat by removing grass and replacing it with climate-appropriate plants.
The District’s Board of Directors honored Laura Lisauskas as the winner of the contest during its September 9 meeting.
Lisauskas purchased her home in 2018 and decided to remove the existing grass and replace it with a more attractive, climate-appropriate landscape. In addition to being water-efficient, the new layout has created a habitat for pollinators and local wildlife, provided fruit for her family, and enhanced the beauty of her neighborhood.
Water-efficient, WaterSmart landscape
Her design divided the garden into multiple interest points and color schemes to highlight different plant collections. Lisauskas even designed and constructed the dry-stacked retaining wall herself.
“Ms. Lisauskas has captured the range of textures and colors found in some of our most beautiful local natural landscapes,” said Bob Kephart, Olivenhain Municipal Water District board director. “Her inspiring, water-efficient landscape is a prime example of using climate-appropriate plants and rainwater harvesting elements to conserve water and reduce pollution from runoff.”
The colorful winning WaterSmart design was inspired by the diversity of San Diego County’s ecosystems and features a variety of native and low-water-use plants including California Poppy, Blue Bells Emu Bush, and Pink Rockrose. The landscape utilizes drip irrigation and onsite rainwater collection, further reducing outdoor water use.
Landscape makeover attracts pollinators
The Watersmart Landscape Contest is held annually by water agencies throughout San Diego County to showcase attractive landscapes that use less water than conventional turf-heavy landscapes. Winning entries exhibit excellence in curb appeal, climate-appropriate plant selection, design, efficient irrigation, and environmental considerations.
The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program offers free, online classes: https://landscapemakeover.watersmartsd.org/
Encinitas, Calif.—Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors honored at its September 9 meeting Laura Lisauskas as the winner of OMWD’s 2020 Watersmart Landscape Contest.
A lush native garden low on water use but not on style won first place in the City of Escondido’s 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest.To encourage customers to reduce outdoor water use, the City of Escondido recognizes its customers whose yards best exhibit the beauty of California-friendly, low-water gardening in the annual competition.
Santee homeowners removed grass, replaced the turf with a colorful, WaterSmart landscape, and won a landscape makeover contest too.
Melissa and Josh Perrell’s new landscaping at their Santee home is bursting with bright colors. Vibrant pink, orange, purple and red succulents are interspersed among lush rosemary and lavender bushes. Even more impressive, it didn’t take a single drop of irrigation over the past year to keep it thriving.
The Perrells makeover project was selected by Padre Dam Municipal Water District as its 2020 Landscape Makeover Contest winner.
The Perrells decided to remove their lawn about two years ago. They wanted a low-water option that would look healthy year-round and require little maintenance. They were tired of spending time mowing it and using large amounts of water to keep the grass alive only to see it get brown during summer months.
The couple learned about the Turf Replacement Rebate Program and applied for the program. To remain within the budget provided, they decided to tackle the installation themselves. This gave them the opportunity to design their own landscape, support local businesses, and choose their own plants. The rebate is now up to $3 per square foot.
“We chose plants that were hardy so we wouldn’t need to replace them or do too much maintenance,” said Melissa Perrell. “We also incorporated rosemary and lavender because we think it’s neat to be able to cook with and use the plants that you have.”
One week to a beautiful new watersmart landscape
After planning and designing their dream front yard, the Perrells spent four days removing their turf, installing rocks, installing irrigation, planting, and laying mulch.
They used a local nursery to select plants that fit their style and budget. By working straight through the process, their landscape completely transformed in less than a week. Their DIY cost-saving approach meant that they were reimbursed for 100% of the cost of their new front yard through the rebate program.
Melissa Perrell loves the low-maintenance needed to keep the new landscape looking its best with no pruning or trimming, and the different heights and colors of the plants. While they have a drip irrigation system in place, the Perrells were able to turn it off and let their landscape be completely watered naturally last year. They recently turned the system on again as the weather began to heat up at the end of June.
“It’s cool that it was something we were able to do together,” said Melissa Perrell. “It’s fun because our neighbors watched us put it in and now when we see them they say ‘Your yard’s looking really nice!'” Read more