Recently in Lawn Alternatives Category

Front Yard Ambassadors Program

Sponsored by the City of San Francisco, the Front Yard Ambassadors Program encourages residents of the Sunset District to remove concrete from their properties and, with the assistance of experts and volunteers, to replace it with drought-tolerant landscaping proven to thrive in this neighborhood.

Participants receive roughly $1,500 of improvements and are only required to pay a nominal $100 fee to participate. Applicants must partner with a minimum of four houses on their block (five total).

Applications for the Front Yard Ambassadors Program will be open through May 31, 2016 and can be found online.

Santa Clara Valley Ups the Ante on Lawn Conversions

Today the Santa Clara Valley Water District announced an increase in the dollar value of their Landscape Conversion Rebate. Eligible property owners who choose to replace "highly irrigated landscape" (such as turf lawns) with drought-tolerant alternatives will be paid $2 per square foot of property so converted. 

The rebate applies to residential (single- and multi-family), commercial, and institutional properties with a minimum of 75 sq. ft. of "converted area." The new landscape must include minimum 50% coverage of the area with living water-efficient plants when the plants are fully grown. To determine coverage value, consult the SCVWD Qualifying Plant List.

We salute the courage and vision of the Santa Clara Valley Water District in compelling local property owners towards a more drought-tolerant future.  Need help converting your landscape and applying for your rebate?  Call us.

In Praise of Carex Pansa

carex_pansa200x300.jpgConsider the sedge (genus Carex), that vigorous and beautiful groundcover, when thinking about plausible substitutes for lawn.

It may look like grass, but the sedge is a botanically distinct member of a completely different family.  With an estimated 2000 species worldwide, the sedges can offer many different sizes, colors, and exotic textures for the adventurous landscape designer.

However, here in the American West we should always be aware of garden water needs (or lack thereof), thus restricting our range of choice -- most Carex species need lots of water.

But not the Pacific Dune Sedge (Carex pansa), found natively in sand dunes from central California to British Columbia.  It has grown here since before the time of gardeners and water hoses; it drinks when it rains.  This makes it an excellent choice for low-maintainence, drought-tolerant alternative lawns in the San Francisco Bay Area.