xeriscape garden design and landscaping details, and broken tile and ceramic mosaic information. drought tolerant tips and inspiration for creating waterwise yards at whackyfunster.com


Home base for an aging computer nut, plant lover, and mosaic artist.
Xeriscape Waterwise Makeover - Included are garden photos from 2003, before photos, Grand Prize Winner 2006, my drought tolerant plant list, and the book list that inspired me.

You can also take a look at the garden when we moved in, which is the only photo I have of the lawn, and photos of it when we were putting in the streambed and railroad ties. Just go here. If you want to see my current plant list, here it is. Also, a list of books I found useful for designing water wise gardens.

Backyard Habitat with Jack Hanna:
My yard as well as several others were featured in a segment for Backyard Habitats on Jack Hanna's TV show, Animal Adventures also in 2003. I found the video for it at his Jungle Store and purchased it. The store is off line presently but here's a .pdf of the episode Show #2244 . In the ad on his Website for the video, my yard (and myself) are in the top left hand picture. It was exciting to be included in the video. I got to meet him, so that was cool. His staff and crew were very nice. It was quite the talk of the neighborhood having them film in my yard. It reinforced with my neighbors the idea that maybe NOT having lawn IS the way to go! Here's a picture of one of the creatures that roam the yard, he's on the front courtyard fence. Trust me, he makes quite an ugly silhouette at night through the curtain. Also, just recently a large peregrine sitting on the backyard fence. I've seen them many times but finally captured one through the window with my cell phone. Plus one of the many hummingbirds who hang out in the yard. This year we had three twin families born during the spring months.

Garden Updates

My yard was the Grand Prize Winner for 2006 in San Diego's 3rd Annual California-Friendly Landscape Contest! The contest is sponsored by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, in conjunction with the Water Conservation Garden. There were six winners in each water district with two honorable mentions, and then there were the regional winners, which were the Grand Prize winners. There were three; a Best Native Plantings, Best Professionally Designed, and then mine which was the Best Do-It-yourself. It was pretty exciting and I was quite surprised by the win. The City came out and put up a large sign and my neighbors have been stopping by telling me they were so glad to see their favorite yard in UC win. Here is the "California-Friendly Landscape Contest Winners Announced" media release for the contest.

With grand prize sign

The Water Authority sent out several photographers and the one gal Kate Breece sent me copies of the pictures she took.

With grand prize sign

Photos of My Water Wise Winning Garden:
Check them out. I also won a $500 dollar gift certificate at Hunters Nursery, Inc., 3110 Sweetwater Rd. in Lemon Grove (619) 463-9341. It was well worth the drive going there as they have a huge selection of plants and lots, and lots of California natives! I got a beautiful stone bench for the backyard, a large stone tortoise, a dwarf Meyer Lemon tree and lots of drought tolerant plants.

Rob Davis from the Voice of San Diego Daily News called and got my input for an article called "How To Make Your Yard Drought-Resistant".

Rob has been doing some in depth investigations into our current water crisis. He's taken a look at how this will affect the city and water department, but most importantly how this impacts residents who have already been putting water conservation principles to use.

He came out to my house to see a completely lawn-less yard, and to discuss my water usage for an article called The Face of Water Conservation. I gave him my figures of water usage, which you can check out here, and of course my opinions.

ADDED 2011: Rob's latest article Most Efficient Water Consumers Pay the Price, Too highlighting the fact that despite the changes in water consumption, residents bills are still higher now than four years ago. This article was accompanied by an MSNBC report called, San Diego Explained: Water Woes. All customers pay the same rate for the first 12 HCFs on their bills (billing is for two month usage). So while I'm happy to save water I and others like me don't get a break on rates. Online I found a hearing at the City of San Diego about this issue and the city official called me an idiot for having this belief. Whatever....