Drought Tolerant Landscape Design – Stonebridge Estates

This yard was for a newly constructed home in Stonebridge Estates adjacent to Scripps Ranch and Poway. The owners were planning to retire very soon and mentioned that they looked forward to actively working in their yard. Gardening was a passion for both husband and wife. The builder had installed a covered area at the back of the house and the design called for an extension of the same hardscape from the builder, so having new large patios were not needed.

The criteria was for low water plants mixed with various succulents and even some local San Diego native landscaping near the edges of the property which were defined by a canyon open space. The owners added multiple redwood raised beds for vegetables and herbs. Near the raised beds several dwarf citrus and semi-dwarf stone fruit trees were added as harvesting at home was important to an accomplished cook.

The backyard design evolved into an area of walking paths of pea gravel, various island beds of easy maintenance plants, a new urn like fountain to attract wildlife and add a visual focal point. The plan also included a pergola and circular patio  for a place to enjoy the backyard and an intermittent “cigar patio” as smoking wasn’t allowed in the house.

Various agaves and aloes including both Coral Aloe (seen blooming in photos) and a Tree Aloe were carefully placed to enhance the overall space. Other grasses, artemisias, dymondia ground cover, euphorbias, breath of heaven and pride of madeira were a part of the design. California natives such as Ceanothus, Salvia and Romneya were added to the far out lying edges to blend with the native plants from the slopes below.

The front yard also had native Redbud as well as other ornamental grasses and some of the same plants as the backyard to create a xeriscape to showcase the new home. A new driveway of interlocking pavers and some areas of concrete were added for circulation. This home remains a stellar example of a drought tolerant landscape design in San Diego.