Colorful California Landscape: A Water-Friendly Garden
Colorful California Landscape:  A Water-Friendly Garden

What is a Water-Friendly Garden?

"Smart and sustainable landscaping is the most visible feature of the California Friendly home, with outdoor spaces designed in harmony with the surrounding environment using beautiful and less thirsty plants, state-of-the-art irrigation controllers and precision sprinkler heads." -

Garden Characteristics

Aesthetics: variety of color and design, form, texture, and plant health; creative and environmentally sensitive use of hardscape; curb appeal


Appropriate plant selection: plants appropriate for climate, appropriate plant combinations, innovative plants, creative use of plant selections


Design: energy-efficient use of tree canopy, permeable ground cover, shady and sunny areas in landscape, overall structure


Appropriate maintenance: plants neat, tidy and attractive; use of mulch; weeds kept to a minimum; regular pruning


Efficient method of irrigation: well-designed irrigation system, minimum water runoff, water conservation, appropriate equipment for plant material, water consumption appropriate to geographical area


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Family of Southern California Water Agencies have an excellent website including a California Friendly Gardening Guide, photo tours of gardens, classes, videos and books:

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Stewardship requires the recognition that we are all caretakers of the environment and economy for the benefit of present and future generations. We must balance the impacts of today's decisions with the needs of future generations. - The Minnesota Round Table on Sustainable Development (1998)