Did you know that of all the water your home uses, roughly 30% of it goes to maintaining your outdoor areas? And that doesn’t even begin to include pools and other water features. If you’re in the process of reevaluating your landscaping options, might we suggest some water friendly options. You won’t have to settle in the curb appeal department, either. You can save money and create true beauty at the same time. Here’s a little inspiration for your water conscious garden and lawn overhaul.

Ground Cover

Let’s start with the biggest hurdle: your ground cover. Many people love a luscious green lawn with a few plants here and there. Well, you have a myriad of options. You can find drought friendly/native grasses that can survive on the annual rainfall; fescue is one particularly beautiful variety that comes to mind. It brings an element of whimsy with its thin, hair-like blades. 

There are several herbs and types of sedum that creep and reach expansive areas. Creeping thyme or rosemary lays down unique shades of green. Snow in Summer sports a silvery carpet of leaves. You can choose ground covers that bloom, such as Moss Phlox, Sweet Woodruff, and Cape Weed. 

If you want to focus more on plants and go really water friendly, you can opt for a gravel, stone, or wood chip alternative. Affordable and in as many varieties as there are paint swatches at Home Depot, these choices don’t need any water to grow and become the perfect backdrop to make your plants really pop.

Blooms, Trees, And More

You can add color, dimension, and texture with a wide array of plants and trees in a drought tolerant lawn. It goes without saying, especially in states like California, that succulents and everything under that branch are an obvious first choice to consider. Different sizes, shapes, and shades means you can fill your yard with these puppies and be far from boring or uniform. 

There is plenty of bright, vibrantly colored bloom at your disposal, too. Purple sage, poppies, blue-eyed grass, California fuchsia, or the wishbone bush all show off brilliantly colored petals. A creeping vine such as bougainvillea spread out over the top of your pergola providing shade and beauty.

Trees? Yes! They do take a while to establish themselves. After that, however, they’re good on their own. You have as many options with color and texture and height as you do with everything else on the list. Mimosa trees with small palm leaves and flowers, Mexican Fan palms are sturdy and short with broad leaves, while Jacaranda will stun your senses with their lovely lilac colored buds. 


You’re truly creating a piece of art when you overhaul your landscape. Living art. You don’t have to stick exclusively to the plants, though. Water features like a Lilypond or fountains use recycled water, so they really don’t drain the tank. Fountains can be a piece of art in and of themselves with ceramics or stone, the texture and color options abound. If you want more height and dimension, add a series of arbors along your walking path that can be left bare and austere or adorned with plants. Statues, benches, or raised flower beds with repurposed materials like a wheelbarrow or tin trash can turn a head or two. 

As you can see, the options are pretty much endless. You won’t sacrifice function for form or vice versa. Far from it. So go ahead. Dip your toes into the water friendly pool of landscaping design. The water is just fine.