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2021 Contest Winner

Homeowner Paul R
Location Chula Vista
Yard Front & Back


After years of toiling (and watering) to maintain a green front lawn, Paul and his wife participated in a free a San Diego County Water Authority WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series course. This course set the foundation for them to embrace a WaterSmart landscape and with an emphasis in California native plants and shrubs.

Paul and his wife also attended several native plant workshops hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.  They were attracted to gardening with native plants due to their low water and no fertilization needs plus the added benefit of creating a natural habitat.

The transformed landscape now includes several manzanitas and large ceanothus shrubs in the back yard which remind Paul of hikes in Mission Trails. The front yard is now more of coastal sage scrub garden, which only requires hand watering twice a month during the dry season. It is pollinator paradise with sages, milkweed, buckwheats, and verbenas that attract birds and bees.

Plants Used

Front Yard Plant List:
Toyon, Beach Aster Cape Sebastian, Wishbone Bush, Bush Sunflower, San Diego Sunflower, Monkey Flowers; Red, Yellow, and Orange, Siskiyou Blue Fescue, Coastal Buckwheat, San Cruz Island Buckwheat, Warriner Lytle Buckwheat, Red Buckwheat, Valley Violet Ceanothus, Howard McMinn Manzanita, De La Mina Verbena, Catalina Fuchsia, Margarita BOP Penstemon, Penstemon Cleveland’s Beardtongue, Bandegee’s Sage, San Miguel Sage, Narrow Leaf Milkweed, Paprika Yarrow, Angelita Daisy, Tree: Pink Tabebuia

Backyard Garden Plant List:
Toyon, Austin Griffith Manzanita, Mama Bear Manzanitas, Baby Bear Manzanita, John Dourley Manzanita, Sunset Manzanita, Harmony Manzanita, Howard McMinn Manzanita, South Coast Ceanothus, Frosty Blue Ceanothus, Eve Case Coffeeberry, Mound San Bruno Coffeeberry, Little Sur Coffeeberry, Coffeeberry, California Coffeeberry, Firecracker Island Snapdragons, California Fuchsia, Catalina Fuchsia, Interior Buckwheat, Brandegee’s Sage, Pozo Blue Sage, San Miguel Sage, California Milkweed, Golden Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Wayne Roderick Daisy, Eleanor Monkey Flowers, Angelita Daisy, Tree: Lemon

Sweetwater Winners

2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2021 | 2022 | 2023