2. List Ideas and Outcomes


A small entry lawn or low groundcover is needed in the front yard to face the neighbors, but creating an outdoor garden room is most important.

Where is shade needed?

Near the driveway entry, garden room and South and West facing walls. Trees can significantly reduce cooling costs.

What type of water-efficient plants fit our home and property? 

Many Mediterranean and California native plant species (see RESOURCES)

How do we prepare the soil for healthy plants? 

See the Soil chapter.

Where can we apply mulch?

Almost everywhere, including organic, decorative gravel and stone, and decomposed granite (see Soil chapter)

Where can we capture and infiltrate rainfall?

Near each of our roof downspouts and off larger slopes in the front yard

What’s the best water-efficient irrigation system? 

See the Irrigation chapter.

What are the monthly and annual maintenance Needs? 

Monthly trimming, weed removal, replacing mulch, checking irrigation system coverage and schedule. Every six months deep cleaning and detailing garden to remove debris, trash, and trim plants.

Native bioswale planting

Native bioswale planting

Abundance of flowering perennials

Abundance of flowering perennials

The pleasure of butterflies

The pleasure of butterflies

Mid-century modern garden

Mid-century modern garden

All images © Robert Perry

Don’t reinvent the wheel! There are many good ideas in your community and at local demonstration gardens.