San Jose Lawn to Natives Conversion



Traditional rectangular lawn in full sun. High water consumption, uninteresting, and requires weekly maintenance.


Approximately three years later. The plantings have filled in and spring blooms attract hummingbirds and butterfliies. The garden is entirely planted with California natives, including California Poppies, Salvia 'Bees Bliss', Salvia clevlandii, Ceanothus 'Yankee Point', Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps', and Arctostaphylos 'Howard McMinn'

In contrast to the lawn-centric design, this mature garden requires only bi-annual trimming, semi-annual weeding, and about 4 deep waterings per year.


The garden path is small locally quarried greenstone with pea gravel. These pervious materials allow water to infiltrate into the soil so that it can be utilized by the plantings and tree.


White flowering Salvia brandegii and pale purple flowering Salvia 'Bees Bliss' are two quick-growing sages that attract hummingbirds. Poppies fill in gaps as the shrubs mature. The poppies are trimmed at the base after flowering to encourage repeat blooming in the late summer.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) provides a good small-area lawn substitute. Lacy white flowers attract beneficial insects in spring and summer. Yarrow requires watering about once every week during the summer and can tolerate light foot traffic.

Stephanie Morris, Landscape Architect - cell (408) 206.5055 or stephlmorris@hotmail.com