Lose a lawn and get a garden

Homeowners throughout California are realizing the benefits of replacing water-thirsty lawns with water-efficient gardens. Some are replacing small sections of lawn over a period of time, while others are replacing their entire lawn all at once. Either way, the benefits are substantial.

So what are the benefits?

4Save water and money: Homeowners can reduce their water use by more than fifty percent by converting their lawns to water-efficient landscaping. For a 30x30-ft lawn, the savings are more than 25,000 gallons per year! Savings can be even greater when sprinklers are replaced with drip irriga- tion. And saving water means saving on your water bill, which is always a good thing.

4Improve aesthetics: In a recent evalu- ation by Contra Costa Water District, 100% of the customers participating in their Landscape Rebate Program loved the new look of their garden compared to their old lawn. Their new front yards are beautiful, eye-catching gardens that include a variety of colors and tex- tures.

4 Save means that weekly commitment to mowing is gone. No longer do you need to mow, aerate, and fertilize. De- pending on the design and plants cho-

sen, a water-efficient garden can be very low maintenance.

4Get cash back and save: For a limited time, CCWD is of- fering rebates to help customers re- place their water-thirsty front lawns with water-efficient landscaping. Sin- gle-family residential customers can receive up to $500, and commercial, HOA, and municipal customers can re- ceive up to $5,000. The program is not retroactive, and properties must be pre-approved by CCWD before any work is started. Complete program de- tails can be obtained by visiting www.ccwater.com/conserve or by calling 688-8320.

Gardening ideas

Below are a few locations for great gardening ideas.

4Gardening in Contra Costa County: Contra Costa Water District developed this website to assist customers with garden and plant ideas. Visit

www.ccwater.com/conserve and click on the link for “Gardening in Contra Costa County.”

4Arboretum All-Stars: The UC Da- vis Arboretum has tested and devel- oped a list of plants that flourish in dry hot summers. Visit their site at www.arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

4Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: The garden tour is on May 1, 2013 and includes many local resi- dential gardens as well as garden talks throughout the day. Gardens range from professionally designed and installed, to do-it-yourselfer gardens.

To get information and to sign up, visit www.bringingbackthenatives.net 

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