This water-wise, easy-care oasis offers lessons for yards everywhere
West Coast cities from San Diego to Portland are encouraging ocean-friendly gardens for all residents, not just those on the beach. The key elements: porous soil, climate-appropriate plants, and permeable paving to soak up or channel rainfall into the soil. Unlike heavily watered and hard-paved landscapes, which can send pollutants into storm drains and, ultimately, the ocean, spongelike gardens prevent runoff. Find more guidelines at surfrider.org, and read up on how you can make your yard both beautiful and environmentally friendly.