Amy Graham of Carlsbad was awarded top prize among Olivenhain Municipal Water District customers in San Diego County’s ninth-annual California Friendly Landscape Contest. OMWD’s Board of Directors recognized Ms. Graham and her family at its May 2 meeting.
Ms. Graham has lived at her current residence since 1999 and recently renovated her landscape to reduce water demands. After removing a variety of water-intensive plant species from a slope in her backyard, she installed drought-tolerant plants that now need to be watered only once each month. “I really like dymondia (silver carpet) as a new groundcover,” said Ms. Graham. “It uses less water, it helps prevent the slope from eroding, and it has lovely yellow flowers.”
In addition to enjoying the benefits of a lower water bill, the Grahams have used some of the water saved to grow herbs and vegetables. Ms. Graham’s husband, Brian, is an engineer, and has constructed self-watering containers for the family’s herbs.
Altogether, the changes that Ms. Graham made to her landscaping resulted in a drop in the family’s overall water use by 52 units—nearly 40,000 gallons—in 2011, the first full year since the conversion. OMWD’s Board of Directors thanked Ms. Graham for her water-efficient efforts and presented her with a $250 prize which she will invest back into her water-smart landscape.
Ms. Graham will also be recognized alongside winners from other participating water agencies in the regional award ceremony to be held May 19 at the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon.
The California-Friendly Landscape Contest is held annually by water agencies throughout San Diego County to showcase attractive landscapes that use less water than convention turf-heavy landscapes. Contest entries are judged on curb appeal, plant selection, design, irrigation, and environmental considerations. More information is available at landscapecontest.com.
–Press Release from OMWD