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2019 Contest Winner

Homeowner Mark and Lauren K
Location La Mesa
Yard Front


Compared to Mark and Lauren’s previous lawn, this growing, colorful and entirely native landscape requires very little water and creates a place of inspiration and peace for these outdoor enthusiasts. Over the two-month billing period ending this April, this home used just 13 units of water, which is almost 40 percent less than the average water use of other Helix customers. One unit is 748 gallons.

Taking advantage of SoCal WaterSmart’s grass removal rebate program, Mark and Lauren tossed their turf for a landscape that requires less maintenance, less water and offers more beauty, chosing a native plant pallet so that they can bring home the look, feel and smell of what they love – the California outdoors. “California natives were an obvious choice,” said Mark. “They are a reflection of our love for the plants we know closely from our experiences outdoors. Native plants make us feel at home and give us appreciation for the beauty of our state.”

Plants receive water from rainwater catchment and through an efficient irrigation system, which they installed. The landscape captures rainwater from the roof and diverts it into two separate swales designed to absorb the water and allow it time to soak into the soil. The two swales provide water for half of the yard and prevent rainwater from running off into the street. The remaining plants receive water through high-efficiency spray nozzles that were retrofitted onto the existing irrigation system and use less water than the previous sprinklers. Mark and Lauren only run the system once per month during the warm season.

Plants Used

California Fuchsia, California Goldenrod, Showy Penstemon, Showy Penstemon, Margarita BOP Penstemon, Mountain Flare Heart-leaved Penstemon, Beach Aster Wayne Roderick, California Buckwheat, Bush Sunflower, Eleanor Monkeyflower, Cherry Monkeyflower, Sunshine Monkeyflower, Louis Hamilton Desert Mallow, Cleveland Sage, Gracias Sage, Deergrass, Blue Grama, Common Yarrow, Yerba Mansa, Eve Case Coffeeberry, Little Sur Coffeeberry, Sunset Manzanita, San Diego Ceanothus, Blueblossom Ceanothus, Dr. Hurd Manzanita, Silver Lupine, San Miguel Savory, Narrow Leaf Milkweed, Engelmann Oak

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