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Here are some designs/prints from our jobs in a variety of residential settings & locations. Each design comes with 4 blueprint copies of Planting Details page (with plant list) as well as an Info page (with specifics on planting & irrigation requirements). For additional photos of other types of conversions (done by other designers), please visit the Flickr examples from Valley Water Rebate.
Guidry Back Yard Website 8_25_23.jpeg
Guidry Pre-Landscape (5_16_23).jpeg
From lawn…to spacious garden showcase


after (newly planted)

Guidry W Pool to S.jpeg
Guidry Back Yard DBD Rev. 8_18_23 p.2.jpeg

Basic planting design with Installation Guide (for homeowner or contractor, lower left)

Residential Back Yard in Saratoga, CA—customer was eager to utilize entire yard (over 5000 sq. ft.) for entertainment. In addition to the existing pool and spa, we were able to include a badminton court; putting green; elaborate BBQ area; a fire pit area (just off the back of the pool); and about 100 yards of strolling path (circling from the BBQ area around to the back of the pool, resuming with the fire pit area out to the recreation lawn area (past a large sitting rock- and out to the vegetable garden). With all those items, it still qualifies for the full Santa Clara Valley Water District Lawn conversion rebate of $3000.

This small footprint dry creek bed isn't just decorative—it hides a French drain (3-4' deep) for catching water run-off, solving annual issue of standing water in yard

Davis Front FULL Website p.1.jpg
Davis Front FULL Website p.2.jpg

Again, quick before…and after (about two months after planting)

Davis (dry creek_french drain front yard).jpeg
Davis_Right Front Walk.jpeg
Davis_Left Front of Walk.jpeg
From formally laid out lawn, etc…to
watershed rain garden

Residential design: Front yard in Almaden Valley in San Jose,  CA. Earned $2500+ from Santa Clara Valley Water District Rebate Program with qualified plants and irrigation (note page 2 detail with specifics—Dec. 2021)

Downs Back Yard Web.jpg
Downs pathway.jpeg
Lawn becomes backyard retreat in Milpitas

What do you do when the lawn area so cherished by the grandchildren is no longer required? You make it a place where the grownups can enjoy its peaceful beauty year-round. (Award: $3000)

Downs NW patio to SE corner 2.jpeg

Smaller back yard with gentle pathway from patio to bedroom

Complete shift to year-round color
in front and back yards!
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Bien Front (Rachel_web).jpeg
Bien Back (Rachel_web).jpeg
Bien Front (side driveway heucherra_web).jpeg

Heucherra 'Forever Red' coral bells adds subtle year-round color alongside of driveway

Residential design: front and back yards of modest home in Palo Alto (off El Camino Real) relies on front yard creek bed to capture water for plants from two problematic downspouts for runoff control and deep watering in rainy season (March 2023—$3000 rebate awarded)

Front yard (note downspouts with dry creek beds converging into main basin)

Corner curb appeal (back included)

Residential design: front and back yards in Saratoga, CA. Priorities: zero lawn; lots of color; low maintenance; wide variety of plant textures and heights (but unified theme). Result was a wonderful mixture of California natives as well as some of the most drought-tolerant plants on the market today. (And it's a delight to the multitude of pedestrian passers-by!)

Detail page, including hydrozone (water usage), plant list, planting details, drip irrigation guidelines, and other information

Chuang_Front Yard (11_9_22).jpg
Radlauer Side.jpeg

Residential design: Front and back yards in Morgan Hill, CA. Residence is in a development with strict HOA guidelines…as well as the City of Morgan Hill which places its own requirements on irrigation and plant choices. We managed to make everyone (especially the homeowner) happy, reducing water usage while introducing some nice design elements and lots of color. The dry creek bed actually serves to bring excess seasonal water from the back to the front with flair while allowing lots of percolation into the ground along the way. Installed December 2023.

Made for Morgan Hill
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Radlauer Back.jpeg

Token lawns both on the front and back satisfy the dog and the HOA while leaving lots of room for plants and that woodland feel.

Radlauer Front L.jpeg

Care is always taken to incorporate as many existing elements as possible (especially mature plants like the Sago palms and the Rainbow flax along the walkway from the back yard to the front). Additional plants enhance the ambiance of the transition.

Details and Notes Page provides clear guidelines for the installer and homeowner (including complete plant list, specifics of the lawn irrigation, and any special instructions for planting and hardscape).

Intimate back yard entertaining in Sunnyvale 

While most of us have your basic small back yard, there's still a great deal that's possible. This homeowner chose to lose the lawn and remove several existing citrus trees. This allowed him to maximize the patio area with his new hot tub off to the side while creating an intimate seating area in the corner for a friend to gather with him in the cool of the evening. (Installed late May 2024. Rebate: $3000)

Corner area takes advantage of existing Japanese Red Maple to create established took on newly-installed plants.

Sweep of flagstone patio draws the eye to the spa and beyond.

Seating for two makes the corner most inviting.

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Back to the Beginningwith a modest, hand-drawn front yard design and installation from my then company, Quicksilver Landscape, back in the 1980's in Los Gatos (total lawn conversi0n with terraced brick walkway—a preview of drought-tolerant front yards to come) 

Front yard
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