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2023 Contest Winner

Homeowner Diane K
Location Vista
Yard Front


Concerned by the severity of the last drought, Diane, wanted to reduce her outdoor water usage. She decided it was time to redesign her front yard by removing her water-thirsty turf; switching to a drip irrigation system, and adding a new patio and decorative hardscape. To begin her landscape transformation, Diane enrolled in the free Water Smart Landscape Makeover series of workshops for homeowners offered by the San Diego County Water Authority and its member agencies. The workshops gave her the necessary knowledge to move forward with her project; including soil assessment, creating a landscape plot plan, and drip irrigation basics and mulching.

She began creating her plan by researching the plants she wanted to add to her landscape, paying particular attention to the plants’ characteristics and water needs to make sure they all would work when planted together. Additionally, she wanted a landscape that would complement the Mediterranean aesthetic of her home. She restricted her base color palate to greens and whites highlighted with pops of color. Once her plan came together, she hired landscape professionals to install the new landscape and hardscape.

The green hues in her landscape design come from shaggy Cousin Itt Acacias, Wheeler’s Dwarf Pittosporum, dwarf daylilies, and Italian Oregano. Each plant providing contrasting textures and structure creating visual interest. A fruitless Olea Swan Hill olive tree stands as the focal point of her yard. The plants providing whites are highlighted by the profusely flowering Scaevola White plants that were placed adjacent to her new permeable walkways accentuating the earth tones of the pavers.

The base colors in her landscape design are accented with bright reds from plants like her Caliente Deep Red Geraniums and Tecoma Stans Bells of Fire Esperanza as well as bright yellow foliage of Sunset Gold Coleonema pulchellum.

The hardscape included in her design plan really ties her project together as well as being functional. The patio replaces what was once a flat boring area of lawn near the home’s entranceway, and transforms it into an inviting place to sit and admire the rest of her new landscape.

Plants Used

Acacia ‘Cousin Itt’ , Pittosporum ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’, Dwarf daylilies, Italian oregano, Scaevola ‘White’, Geraniums ‘Caliente Deep Red’, Tecoma Stans Bells of Fire Esperanza, Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’, Swan Hill European fruitless olive tree, Agapanthus ‘Peter Pan’, Alstroemeria ‘Kate’, Lantana ‘White Lightning’, Dracaena marginata, Nandina ‘Firepower’

Vista Winners

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