Jeff Moore stands in his front yard featuring his award-winning waterwise landscaping work. Photo: Charlie Neuman, Water Authority VallecitosJeff Moore stands in his front yard featuring his award-winning waterwise landscaping work. Photo: Water Authority

Waterwise Landscaping Blooms in San Marcos

San Marcos, Calif. – A beautiful native garden low on water use but not on style won first place in the Vallecitos Water District’s 2018 “WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

To encourage customers to reduce outdoor water use, Vallecitos recognizes customers whose yards best exhibit the beauty of California-friendly, low-water gardening. The Vallecitos Board of Directors honored the 2018 winners of the annual WaterSmart Landscape Contest at its August board meeting.

Jeff Moore stands in his front yard featuring his award-winning WaterSmart landscaping work. Photo: Water Authority

The winners are:

First place – Rhonda Holmes and Jeff Jenco

Second place – Dennis and Shannon Root

Third place – Patti Joyce and Jeffrey Moore

View a video tour and interviews with the winners here.

First place winner Rhonda Holmes said the landscape transformation at her Lake San Marcos-area home took place after purchasing the house and undertaking a complete remodel, which included replacing the front and back yard turf areas with water-efficient plants.

Holmes describes seeing neighborhood lawns with running sprinkler heads misting the streets. She wanted to design a garden that was smart on water, while being beautiful at the same time. As for the earth-friendly garden remodel, Holmes says, “It’s really easy to do. I’d love to see more people try to do their part.”

Bioswale feature prevents stormwater pollution

Jeff Moore rakes the zen garden in his back yard featuring his landscape work. Photo:  Water Authority

Holmes also installed a beautiful and environmentally conscious bioswale to reduce pollution to nearby Lake San Marcos. It prevents water from being emptied into the storm drain system.

“I think what people don’t realize is all the pesticides and fertilizers and chemicals we use on our plants, if we don’t do something like a biofiltration system with those chemicals, then end up leaching out into the streets, into the gutters and into the golf course here, and for example in Lake San Marcos,” said Holmes.

Holmes says in addition to water conservation, she is able to avoid pest control with chemicals, because native plants are more disease resistant.

All three winners experienced an unexpected benefit: an influx of wildlife into their yards including birds, bees and butterflies, and small reptiles. There is even a neighborhood peacock that visits the Root household.

Free fall series of landscape makeover classes now open for registration

Decorative elements highlight Jeff Moore’s landscaping. Photo: Water Authority

Shannon Root says she attended a landscaping seminar held at the Vallecitos Water District. Third place winner Jeffrey Moore attended the San Diego County Water Authority’s Landscaping Makeover series of classes. Both called them informative and extremely helpful. The next series of Landscaping Makeover classes are scheduled in October. Interested residents can register on the program’s website.