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Plant a Beautiful Water-wise Garden

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How Do I Plant a Beautiful California Friendly Garden and Reduce my Water Bills?

With California friendly plants it’s possible to reduce outdoor watering without sacrificing beauty. California friendly landscaping is specifically designed for areas that have limited supply of water. Choosing plants that do not belong in our climate can result in constant pest problems and raise water bills. California native plants have grown here naturally therefore they are the easiest to grow in our mild winters and hot summers. California friendly plants are plants chosen from around the world with climate similar to ours. Once established they’re durable and healthy without requiring constant watering. Besides using less water, native plants have the benefit of attracting butterflies and birds, along with reducing the use of pesticides and other chemicals.

How Do I Start my Own California Friendly Garden?

The first thing you will need to do is take a look at your existing landscape. Where can you reduce turf (grass) and plant California friendly plants instead? Turf needs weekly care. Once you lower the amount of turf, you lower maintenance and the cost of watering to maintain turf. Many of the California native plants don’t need as much water or care and still look great. For the health of your plants and to be water-wise, remember to water your plants occasionally and deeply instead of watering them frequently and quickly. The overall goal is for you to enjoy an easy-care garden without worrying about wasting water.

Need help planting a CA Friendly landscape? Visit to help you transform your water guzzling landscape into a water efficient landscape. This website provides you with access to local gardens with over 200 examples of CA Native landscapes.

Where Can I Find Native and California Friendly Plants?

California native plants are not limited to cacti and succulents there are lots of choices that at first may be a little overwhelming. To view a list that represents the most reliable drought tolerant plants visit Also visit your local nursery and ask staff to help you choose the best CA native plants for your garden. Each local nursery has a CA native plant section. To transform your yard into a California Friendly Garden, follow the 7 principles of xeriscaping from eartheasy and visit for more ideas and information.

Get Inspired by California Friendly Gardens in Glendale Designed by Volunteers from Our City

  • Monterey Community Garden on 870 Monterey Rd.
  • California Friendly Garden at Glorietta Park (corner of Verdugo Rd. & Glorietta Ave.)

Visit the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 N. College Avenue in Claremont and the Theodore Payne Foundation, 10459 Tuxford Street in Sun Valley to view existing California Native Plant Nurseries also both of these groups and the California Native Plants Society hold annual plant sales.

Two books to check out on California Native Plants:

  • California Native Plants for the Garden by Carol Bornstein, David Fross and Bart O'Brien
  • Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens by Bart O'Brien, Betsey Landis and Ellen Mackey