We love being a part of this paradigm shift in thinking about how we design our coastal landscapes. Southern California is such a great place to live with possibly the best weather in the world. Though we must not forget that we live in a very arid region as well. As we travel through San Diego we see an abundance of green lawns, tropical trees and water being used with an out of sight out of mind mentality. Without the enormous water contributions of Northern California and the Colorado River, Southern California would visually look completely different than the lush green wonderland we see today. As Designers and stewards of the landscape we have a responsibility to design with the knowledge we posses about our lack of expendable water. We need water for our homes and for necessary uses but typically 70% of our home water bill goes straight to the water usage in our yards. If we are capable of mitigating this water usage then we have the responsibility to do so.
What people don’t realize is that Southern California and more specifically our Mediterranean climate houses a broad range of flora that is adapted to arid climate regions but is also strikingly beautiful. What I’ve noticed is that people will request a plant palette that is tropical in nature. Not because it is particularly what they want, but because it is what they are surrounded by. They see their neighbors and friends with that particular plant palette and then decide they want something similar. A pattern then begins and ultimately San Diego begins to have a narrow vision of beauty in the landscape with an even narrower palette of plants to choose from. Falling Waters Landscape understands the disconnect that is occurring and is attempting to change that cycle.
We have partnered with the Surfrider Foundation and the Ocean Friendly Garden program which seeks to promote conservation, permeability, and retention. They understand urban runoff is the number one source of ocean pollution and we as official contractors for the program are actively enforcing these tenants in our own designs in the coastal Southern California Region.
Our display at the Spring Home/Garden show won best of show for placing a focus on these ideas and putting them into action by utilizing water cisterns to capture water, installing swales to help water infiltrate into the soil and water table, using mulch to ease evaporation and also help water more easily permeate through the soil. We used permeable pavers to reduce runoff and incorporate native and drought tolerant plants. The combination of these ideas then becomes a cohesive and beautiful and functional design that all Southern California homes could and should utilize. We are very proud of our partnership with the Surfrider Foundation and that our conscious efforts were recognized as a responsible and beautiful solution to the current state of landscapes in Southern California. We would like to give a thanks to all who helped out in the implementation of the display along with all of our sponsors and partners. Til next year. . “When one tugs on one thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world” -