There is a common misconception that in order for a yard to look good, it has to follow the traditional rules of landscaping that were created in the fifties when the suburbs were born. So many people had middle class jobs and were able to buy their first home away from the city, using their cars to drive to work instead of using public transportation. The suburbs became very homogeneous and specific, each home showing that they had “made it” by putting together several elements that allowed them to look like their neighbors. A clean and tidy house sat surrounded by a well manicured lawn of grass and a few trees and shrubs. A white picket fence surrounded the whole thing, allowing the family and pets to play safely within the space on warm days without a care in the world. Whether this was the perfect time or not, the elements of landscaping that were created during this time bleed over to today, defining what makes a beautiful yard. The well manicured and cared-for grass and the trees remain, even if the styles of homes might have changed, and these landscape elements were even carried over to areas that are completely un-natural for these types of plants over the years. The introduction of thick grass lawns into areas like Nevada and Southern California was an attempt for recent transplants from the east coast to put together the visual space they remembered as perfect, and of course this can only be maintained artificially. These types of plants do not grow on their own here, and need continual watering from sprinklers in order to stay alive. The warm weather is perfect for growing almost any type of plant, but the lack of water is an issue.
During the drought times, people in Southern California are forced to watch their lawns die, as they are not allowed to provide enough water to keep them green in the summer heat. When your lawn is killed off by regulations in watering, you are forced to either replace it and possibly watch it die again next year, or possibly make the wiser choice of landscaping elements that are more appropriate for a low water situation. Desert landscaping is a perfect way to create a living space around your southern California home, and by using elements that do not need to be watered very day like pavers, LED lighting and walls you are able to create a space that is far more in line with the type of landscape that is natural here. The art of desert landscaping has thrived in desert communities, and has really redefined what is a good looking yard space. If you absolutely must have that patch of green around your home that reminds you of back east, why not try artificial turf to make it happen. Synthetic grass will look and feel exactly like your natural grass, only it will need no water in order to look thick and lush. No matter what, the ideas of an ideal landscape have changed, and it is time to stop throwing your money away on grass.