Water Wise Landscape Design: Starting From Scratch

Water wise landscape design is more popular than ever. Some municipalities have even created incentive programs for replacing traditional landscapes with low water landscapes. Check for local incentive programs before renovation.

Examples of situations where creating a water wise landscape design from scratch would be advantageous include:

  • A newly built house with no landscaping
  • Renovating an overly mature or long neglected landscape
  • The landscape plants use too much water
  • The landscape is a boring expanse of turf

Where to start?

Visiting Demonstration Gardens for Ideas

Visiting demonstration gardens is a great way to get ideas on how to design and maintain a water-wise garden.  Many of these demonstration gardens showcase plants and sometimes wildlife that are adapted to your specific region.

Elements displayed at demonstration gardens include:

  • How to create a garden with seasonal interest
  • Woodland gardens
  • Edible gardens
  • Traditional and non-traditional design ideas
  • Examples of mulches and hardscapes
  • Ways to create inviting outdoor living spaces.


Additional Resources:

US Botanical Gardens


California –

Firewise Planning and Landscape Design

Wildfire burning into urban setting.

‘Firewise’ planning, landscape design, and maintenance is important in areas where fires frequently occur. Homes built on the wildland / urban interface are particularly susceptible to the destructive effects of wild fire.

Proper design firewise planning and design includes creating several landscape zones to create a defensible space around buildings and other structures.

Four basic zones are recommended for creating and planning a firewise landscape design:

Zone 1

  • Provide at least a 30’ buffer where tall plants are not