FROM BORING FLAT GRASS TO THRIVING GARDEN HABITAT

Location:

Westminster, CA


Designer:

H2 Xero Landscape


Contractor:

Jose’s Gardening & Tree Service

 

Tina Cremer, owner of H2 Xero Landscape, transforms this Westminster front yard into a thriving garden habitat.

The homeowner wanted a realistic streambed as the focal point for the landscape. He also chose California native plants, succulents, and cacti to complete his new garden habitat.

Front Yard landscape with only grass

Due to potential concerns of standing water attracting mosquitoes, Tina offered a compromise. Tina designed a dry streambed that would ebb and flow during the rainy season. But that’s not all, the streambed would also offer deep irrigation to plant life.

The main challenge of the project was due to the soil containing heavy clay which limits water percolation. To increase drainage, a load of Amended Topsoil was tilled into the top layer of existing clay. The new soil was also used to create berms of varying sizes. The varying elevations create a more natural and realistic look to any landscape.

front-yard-garden-habitat-with-dry-streambed

Are you wondering how each landscape rock product was used?

Main Area

  • Amended Topsoil was used to improve the soil for better drainage and plant growth
  • Desert Gold 3/8″ crushed rock was used to cover the entire landscape, aside from the dry streambed
  • Cresta Blonde Boulders were placed in a variety of areas to add additional focal points in the overall landscape design

Dry Streambed

  • Amended Topsoil was used to create the streambed channel and surrounding berms
  • Mexican Beach Pebble-Black was used to fill in the center of the streambed
  • Santa Fe Cobble and Apache Sunset Rubble were used to fill in the banks of the streambed
  • Arizona Buckskin Flagstone was used to create bridges for easy access from one side to the other

As a professional landscape designer, Tina offers a few tips for anyone thinking about creating a dry streambed:

  1. Realistic dry stream beds must begin and end behind something, like a pool, shrub, or boulder which gives the illusion of nature. If it starts or stops abruptly, it will look fake and out of place.
  2. Streams are never straight so always include curves in the design.
  3. Make sure the trench is deep enough for the base material and the rocks at the bottom of the stream bed. After the rock is added, it should still be lower than the surrounding ground level as in nature.
  4. There should be a variety of boulders and cobbles of similar colors. Varying the size of material is crucial if you want a realistic looking streambed.

“By diverting water runoff from the home’s roof to the dry streambed using an underground pipe, rainwater now fills the streambed, providing deep irrigation to the surrounding plants and soil underneath.” 

      – Tina Cremer, Owner of H2 Xero Landscape

Once the front yard landscape reaches maturity (shown in the photos above), the plants fill in the landscape. Because we added better soil, the California native plants are thriving. When designing and installing a landscape, the most important thing to remember is:

“The goal is to imitate nature and not be able to tell the difference from natural versus man-made.”

For more information on creating your own dry streambed, check out our very own installation guide, “DIY Dry Creek Bed Installation in 7 Easy Steps” now!

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