Creating a Family-Friendly Landscape

Vickie Castilleja

For most of us, our yard needs to be a multi-functional space. It’s where our children play, where we go to relax at the end of a long day, and a place to entertain family and friends.

You can create your very own backyard oasis where you can live, play and relax — and reduce your water consumption by following a few basic tips.  Just consider where you already have shade, how much turf you want to keep, how much gardening you want to do and where you’ll create a separate play space for your children.

  • Keep grass in the areas where you use it, remove the rest. Taking out water-thirsty turf and putting in drought-tolerant garden beds around the perimeter of the yard creates visual interest and defines the lawn area. Plants like cenizo, esperanza, rosemary and mistflower only need to be hand watered while they are getting established and provide color and texture as well as attracting butterflies to your landscape.
  • Create small sitting areas to relax in under existing shade trees or by planting fast-growing trees like Mexican sycamoreMontezuma cypress or Arizona cypress (for thin soils).
  • If you are putting in a separate play area, use organic mulch to create a safe play environment that doesn’t require any water or mowing. Although rubber mulch provides more cushion, it is often made from recycled tires and may contain chemicals.
  • Take advantage of the Patioscape coupon to help offset the cost of the pavers, flagstone or stepping stones for an outdoor seating area. Place the patio in an area that’s hard to reach with a hose or in deep shade where plants don’t do well. Creating a patio right off the back door for easy access to your kitchen makes a great barbeque area as well.

Check out our WaterSaver Landscape and WaterSaver Patioscape coupons for information on how SAWS can help you create your dream landscape — 200 square feet at a time.

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hand watering around duskorange milkweed aphids