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  • Writer's pictureJeff Robbins

Water Wise Doesn’t Mean Water-less – One San Diego couple’s journey to water savings

Updated: Nov 5, 2018

Revolution Landscape was founded with a goal of promoting sustainable landscaping and sustainable lifestyles. There is no greater reward for us than learning that our longtime clients, Bruce and Elaine have reduced their water use by more than 50% since we first started working together in 2009. The best part about Bruce and Elaine’s project is that not only were they able to cut down on water use, but the new landscaping produces an abundance of fresh organic produce and also provides valuable habitat for local wildlife!

Like many projects here in San Diego, this one began with a troublesome slope. Despite numerous attempts by a previous landscape company to get plants to grow on this steep and sandy hillside in University City, nothing ever seemed to last. Because the slope had many bare areas, during rain events, soil would slide down the hillside, over a retaining wall, and onto the hardscape below. To solve these problems, Revolution re-vegetated the slope with a mix of California native plants including various types of Eriogonum, Encilia, Salvia, and Ceanothus. These plants look great on the slope, reduce erosion, provide food and habitat for pollinators, and require little or no additional irrigation now that they are established. After the slope was completed we turned our focus to the backyard lawn. We opted to remove a mature carrotwood tree centered in the lawn and replace it with 3 raised garden beds, a re-circulating water feature, and low water accent plantings. We also included 3 types of citrus, cherry, plum, and peach trees. These changes transformed the drab backyard into an urban oasis that now buzzes with life and the tranquil sound of water flowing. The gardens now provide Bruce and Elaine with an abundance of fresh veggies year round and water feature also provides an ideal water source for a backyard beehive located on the slope. That’s right, they’ve got fruits, veggies, and honey!

In Fall of 2014, the couple decided it was time to take the final plunge by converting their front lawn into a low water landscape. After working with Revolution to create a landscape design, Elaine applied for the turf removal rebate available from the Metropolitan Water District. The new landscape was installed in January of 2015 and Elaine received $1,200 in rebates. Along with this installation we also added a weather based control station that modifies the irrigation run times based on real time weather data. After nearly six years working together Bruce and Elaine’s yard is beautiful, bountiful, and waterwise!

For before and after photos click here. To stay up to date follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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