From a weedy turf to a dream garden: Against a full wall of Camilla trees, Lucy (not her real name)’s lawn used to be green and lush. With the drought, however, parts of the turf just went bare, with the remaining thin and weedy. Then rains – lots of them- came, the turf just turned into this big bed of wild weeds. Lucy had been wanting to replace it with a much nicer “dream garden”, but with her really busy schedule, she did not even have the time to think about it. After Lucy heard about the Santa Clara Landscape Conversion Rebate Program, especially the way her project will be done, i.e., all the paper work will be handled, the project will cover the entire process of design and installation, the only time she needed to be involved was the design of the garden – she happily got on board.
Landscape Conversion Program Application
To apply for the Rebate Program, a pre-inspection was scheduled. At the end of pre-inspection, the application forms were provided. For the application, the filled forms, along with the design of the garden were to be submitted.
Designing the Garden
This will be a water efficient garden, meeting all the requirements of the Rebate program, i.e., using only native or drought tolerant plants, using drip irrigation, applying mulch, etc. The next consideration was the look. There was a wall of the camellias at the back of the front yard; in addition, two small fruit trees in the middle. The camellias were in their full blossom, sporting bright pink and red colors, against thick green leaves. It was a beautiful view. A good design should add to the view, not take away from it. At the time of plant selection, when Lucy spotted a picture of a lavender, she cried “that is it!” A path with lavender on both sides, with its strong scent – that was something of a dream for her. Very luckily, lavender is one of those low water-use plants that qualify for the rebate. Now she could have her dream realized! The application was submitted with the garden design. After a week or so, the Notice to Proceed was received. The project could kick off now.
Installing the Garden
The weeds and turf were removed, plants purchased and placed. For mulch, it was bark chips, which came in different colors. The mulch can effectively prevent evaporation and keep the soil moist longer. When the chips decompose, it can add to the organic matters of the soil, improving the its quality and water holding capacity, which in turn will save more water. Lucy chose the black color, which turned out to be a great choice.
A Dream Garden Came True
The clean design and black surface from mulch make the Camilla’ colors really “pop” out. The light step stones surrounding the two small trees in front not only provide something very functional, but accentuate the trees and add liveliness to the garden. These plants dot the garden space with colors and textures, without distracting from the main view of Camilla. They are all drought tolerant and qualify for the Rebate program. While the garden already looks nice, there is more to look forward to. When the lavenders grow up and fully bloom, walking in the middle will be like walking through a purple corridor with that wonderful lavender scent. Now that is something to wait for!