Students at the University of California, Berkeley, have designed four templates for drought-tolerant gardens that comply with covenants for the San Lorenzo Village homeowners association.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In the wake of California's mandatory water cutbacks, many homeowners are faced with a dilemma. Letting lawns go brown saves water, but homeowners can be penalized by their homeowners association for not meeting the community's covenants on yard maintenance. Such was the case in San Lorenzo Village, a planned community in the Bay Area.
According to a recent article by Glen Martin in UC Berkeley's California Magazine, Steve Kirk, San Lorenzo Village homeowners association vice president, requested assistance from the College of Environmental Design in "developing plans that would allow residents to both meet the letter of the covenants and conserve water."
A project was set up incorporating seven graduate and undergraduate students studying landscape architecture, urban studies, graphic design and horticulture. Together, the students created preliminary designs to circulate amongst the homeowners. These designs were whittled down to four final landscape plans, which are now acceptable landscapes under the community's covenants.
The Herb Garden features edible plants and emphasizes rainwater capture. The California Native Garden includes year-round color thanks to the use of native plants. The Lush and Dry Garden features low-maintenance desert plants. The Cottage Garden includes flowers and a small lawn.
Depending on the template selected, homeowners can expect to save between 32,500 and 35,800 gallons of water per year.
The templates and information on drought-related watering, pest controls and plant options can be found here PDF. Read the original California Magazine article here.