With their Mediterranean colors, the native and adapted plants he chose blend naturally into the landscape, and require less attention than a lawn. “Now we spend less time looking down at weeds that need pulling and more time looking at the ocean,” says Gordon Held. “We feel a part of the beach scene.” What's more, with the new design, “The garden uses 10 percent of the water it once used—a savings of about $50 per month.” Design: Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture, Baywood Park, CA; jgsdesigns.com
Even the landlocked can adopt the low-water elements from the Helds’ yard. Click ahead for the designer's top tips for how to try this at home.