1. Use permeable paving It helps rainfall percolate easily into the soil. The paths in the Zinners' garden are covered with gravel, and a small square patio in the front yard is of decomposed granite.
2. Extend the season Since most California natives bloom in spring, combine them with plants that flower at other times. Blanc added butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), coral fountain (Russelia equisetiformis), and Mexican lobelia (Lobelia laxiflora) for summer color.
3. Go on sustainable-garden tours You'll find ideas as well as designers who can help you realize them. The Zinners discovered garden designer Stephanie Blanc on such a tour.