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2023 Contest Winner

Homeowner Brad L
Location Encinitas
Yard Front & Side


Brad L bought his house at the end of 2020. It was very much a fixer-upper both inside and out. There was nothing salvageable about the yard, so it had to be completely redesigned from scratch.

As a practitioner of the ‘Watershed Approach to Landscape Design’.  Brad is passionate about climate appropriate planting, soil health, efficient irrigation, and especially water capture. The goal from the beginning was to keep as much rainwater on the property as possible. He designed a relatively intricate system that sends overflow from a 530-gallon cistern into a series of connected swales that can handle well over an inch of rain without a drop leaving the property.

Brad is equally passionate about plants, so he created his own personal botanic garden with a lot of native species and interesting and tough plants from other Mediterranean climates around the world. There is a small lawn for his kids and dog, using a mix of two very low water alternatives to traditional fescue.

Brad built a small office in the corner of the yard, and loves being surrounded by two years of hard work and showing clients and friends how water moves through the property.

Plants Used

Carex praegracilis, Salvia clevelandii; Salvia spathacea; Adenostoma fasciculatum ‘nicolas;’ Artemisia californica; Erigeron ‘Wayne Roderick;’ Juncus sp. (Elk Blue, Patens, Textilis); Abutilon palmeri; Agave sp. (Blue Glow, Blue Flame, Guinata); Pilosocereus pachycladus; Acacia willardiana; Acacia aneura; Acacia podalyriifolia; Leptospermum petersonii; Leptospermum ’Dark Shadows;’ Leucadendron argenteum; Ruschia lineolata ‘Nana;’ Yucca rostrata; Nolina interrata; Nolina nelsonii; Leucospermum sp. (Tango, Helena); Casuarina ‘Cousin Itt’; Lomandra ‘Shorty;’ Cussonia sp. (Paniculata, Transvalensis, Spicata); Euphorbia ‘Ammak’

Olivenhain Winners

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