Padre Dam Municipal Water District Logo

2019 Contest Winner

Homeowner Dita and Todor P
Location Santee
Yard Front


When they purchased their home in 2011, Dita and Todor’s front yard was almost entirely grass. They fought to sustain the grass by watering it several times a week, but it still never looked healthy. “We inherited a front yard that was a water-wasting nightmare and no amount of water and fertilizer could keep the grass green,” Explained Dita Petrov.

When the they decided it was time to transition to a Water efficient landscape, they attended an event at the Water Conservation Garden and met with Landscape Designer Lisa Bellora, who would end up designing their yard. It was important that while their landscape was water efficient, it appeared lush and was not exclusively cactus.

Lisa’s design included an array of water-efficient plants, widening the walkway, and incorporating their mature Jacaranda tree, which now provides shade for the other plants. Rain gutters on the Petrov’s house feed a rain garden to use as irrigation allowing them to completely turn their irrigation off during wet season. When it’s dry, the yard is on a drip irrigation system.

“We love when the rain garden fills up with water and creates a pond, we know it’s working to filter the roof water into the yard instead of just running into the street and drains,” commented Dita. The Petrovs enjoy that their landscape is green year-round, and never “gets grey.” Their advice to others who are interested in creating a WaterSmart landscape is to be open to help and suggestions, but to not let anyone detract from your vision for your yard.

Plants Used

Agave Americana Medio, Cistus Corbariensis (Little Miss Sunshine), Chondropetalum Tectorum, Dianella Caerula (Cassa Blue), Westringia Fruticosa (Blue Gem), Senecio Mandraliscae

Padre Dam Winners

2017-Eastern | 2017-Western | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021