Rainwater Harvesting System
Lawn conversion on a major scale! From wasteful lawn to a model ecological efficiency.
For 20 years our property had a 1/4 acre of irrigated lawn that extended around the entire outside of our home. We live on a hill so water cascaded down the hillside during the rainy season causing ruts and bogs as it passed through our property and into pastures. Parts of the “lawn” were muddy and wet until mid summer.
We wanted to capture some of that water and we really wanted to become more sustainable and ecologically sound. So in 2018 we decided to remove the entire lawn using sheet mulching and a small tractor, to convert the seven irrigation stations to drip systems and to create natural drainage.
Irrigation & Drainage
Using Reference Lists
We chose plants from those recommended by the Sonoma County Master Gardeners Water Wise Plant guide and those recommended by the WUCOLS plant list. Many are California Natives or suited to our Mediterranean climate, characterized by wet winters and long, dry summers with little rainfall.
Flanking the dry creek beds are our pollinator gardens. Buddlea, Gaura, Salvia, Cuphea, Abelia, Abutilon, Lavender, Ceanothus and Digitalis are abuzz from sun up to sundown with bees, hummingbirds and other insects.
Other areas of the garden include raised vegetable beds, a small fruit orchard of apples, pear and plums.
A native wildflower meadow which includes native grasses and wildflowers grown from seed collected by the Theodore Payne Native Plant society graces the slope that leads to the compost heaps.
About the Gardener
Arctostaphylos spp & cvs
‘Pajaroensis’, ‘Sentinel’, A. uva-ursi ‘Radiant’
‘Skylark’, ‘Julia Phelps’, ‘Dark Star’, ‘Diamond Heights’
Coast Live Oak
Rhamnus [Frangula] californica
‘Mound San Bruno’, ‘Eve Case’