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Designing Your Yard for Water Saving: An Interview with Natalain Schwartz Landscape Design-Build Contractor

By Natalain Schwartz

About Natalain Schwartz Landscape Design-Build Contractor:

We have provided landscape design-build to clients for over 15 years in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Jose and South Area communities. We provide landscape designs planting plans project installation and garden consultation. I design and we install all aspects of design build. Including but not limited to:

  • Speciality Planting
  • Xeriscaping
  • Sustainable Gardens
  • Stonework
  • Retaining Walls
  • Garden Walls and Construction
  • Decks and Patios
  • LED Landscape Lighting
  • Irrigation and Water Features
  • Outdoor Kitchens

Our company's mission is to create designs that brings to reality my clients vision. Develop that vision installing the project with quality craftsmanship, insuring my client peace of mind with little distraction from their day to day life. Concluding with a successful and beautiful landscape project and happy clients.

How Do You Work?

To sum it up, in a few words, I meet on site with my clients and we go through a short process of questions. This process helps to access site or area of landscape, the clients dream and vision, the needs (function) of the landscape and budget.

How Are Customers Dealing with the Drought?

I would not encourage people to install lawns. We have a serious drought in the state. Many water districts are giving back part of the cost of removal and replacing sod and sprinklers. In many cities, folks are being highly penalize for over water use. In some cases, lawns take up to 50-80% of water use in a household. As a professional I do not want to be recommending something to clients that they might regret. In a few cases curb appeal, or children and pets, might make a consideration to the situation, but size of sod lawn can be reduced considerably or replaced with ground cover, native grass, and subsurface irrigation.

Of course, there are no short answers. There are many options and directions for cutting back on water us in the landscape. Again, I would discourage installing or renovating a lawn at this time.

What Makes a Nice Landscape Replacement with Little Use:

Drought tolerant gardens need not look like dry land meadows in late summer. Possibilities are endless when creating gardens. Xeriscaping and sustainable methods can produce many styles of landscapes, such as: cottage gardens, Japanese style gardens, and contemporary or modern style gardens to name a few.

Using low water use plants that thrive in our central coast and coastal area, such as succulents, California natives, touch Mediterranean and unusual Australian plants, can be used in many landscape styles. Based on each individual plan, a landscape might be considered drought tolerant and yet give the sense and appearance of green lush foliage throughout the year.

California is a dry state with unpredictable weather patterns. My landscape designs implement low use or no use of greedy water plantings, which in turn conserves water, stores rainwater, utilizes gray water and eliminates additional costs and wasted energy on unnecessary yard maintenance.

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As a licensed contractor, landscape designer, and the founder owner/operator of a local...

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