The front yard landscaping was a postscript to a major remodel completed about six months ago. The remodel included replacing single pane windows with double paned ones, adding underfloor insulation, insulating hot water pipes, replacing the dishwasher and changing out the hot water heater, all of which should increase energy efficiency.
The contractor (Joe Clark), the landscaper and the homeowner collaborated on the plan for the front yard. The goal was to make an attractive entrance, reduce water needs for the landscaping and allow for rainwater absorption. Joe designed the front porch and fence.
All sod was removed and replaced with a design of drought tolerant grasses, flax and lavender, topped with black mulch. The existing Palo Verde tree was severely pruned and a Santa Rosa plum tree added on the other side of the entrance walk. In front of the sidewalk is a Carambola (starfruit) tree. The border with the southern neighbor is lined with Silver Sheen. The vast majority of the plantings, excepting the two fruit trees, require little water and maintenance once established. They replaced the sod with decomposed granite.
Other household conservation measures: Kitchen waste is composted, reducing trash output. Five single control faucets/shower fixtures installed. Back yard sod was replaced with Pearl's Premium, a grass mixture which claims it requires little water and less frequent mowing.