December 8, 2010

Water Wise

Spring 2010
We passed! One year after converting our lawn to mulched beds and hardscape, we’ve earned a $200 credit toward our water bill courtesy of the San Antonio Water System. That's about half a year’s worth of water for our house. Hurray!

Spring 2010
Since December 2009, when we qualified for part one of the Watersaver Landscape rebate, SAWS' conservation planner Donna has been sending us monthly emails detailing our water use. To get the $200 watersaver bonus (on top of the $100 nursery gift certificate), we had to use less water than comparable households with turf. Last week, we received our final email telling us that we had completed the program and earned the credit.

Winter 2008 - Right after we bought the home so the lawn was on its best behavior. It only got shabbier from here.
We didn't sacrifice to qualify for the SAWS program. In fact, the changes we made solved some of our landscaping challenges. For example, before, the turf under the oak trees was always thin and weak. In spite of our best efforts, it was never going thrive in the shade so mulched beds have been a better choice.

Home 2009
Fall 2009

Futile Efforts
Late Spring 2008
In the backyard, we converted half of the turf to decayed granite and added a pergola. This area gets hot, west sun and no shade. Without a sprinkler system, we were always moving the hose around the yard trying to keep the grass happy. Since we weren’t very faithful to this chore, we frequently had dry, dying grass in the summer. Now, the area is more manageable.

Fall 2010

If you live in San Antonio and you're toying with the idea of the watersaver landscape, go for it. When you minimize the turf and include the right plants, you'll save water without even trying.


  1. wow, thanks for sharing your landscaping ideas. I can't wait until I own a house and I can use some of these tricks!

  2. Great job, and what I really notice is how beautifully you solved the common problem of the cramped builder's sidewalk to the front door. That wider, curvy path, pulled away from the house to make room for beds, is a beautiful solution. Well done!

  3. Congratulations! Your house is beautiful. :)

  4. Thanks everyone. I have to give credit where credit is due. We hired Keith Amelung, a former nursery owner and manager, to draw the plans for us and we've enjoyed the fun of implenting them and expanding on his ideas. I recommend Keith to anyone with an average-sized yard and eager hands who wants to upgrade their landscape's look.

  5. Very cool - and your lawn does look awesome now!

  6. I think it made it much more interesting with the wider path. Also, I like your pergola and the flower beds. You are doing a great job!!

  7. Well done Abbey! That must feel like such an accomplishment and knowing that you're being kind to the aquifer is an added bonus! Austin is a bit behind in water conservation but we've been studying SA and we're learning...