Converting Grass to Xeriscape Guidelines

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Converting Grass to Xeriscape Guidelines

Postby BC MCM Home Dweller » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:53 pm

Greetings:

Here in the Las Vegas Valley area, there's a big push for homeowners to convert water hogging lawns and vegetation into xeriscapes. This is all well and good for conserving water and lowering utility costs, however, I see many historic MCM lawns being ripped out and replaced with hardscapes and vegetation that are inappropriate in style, lack sensitivity to the historic integrity of the home and/or neighborhood, and are cookie cutter in style. Are there landscape design guidelines, plans, plant lists, etc, that an average homeowner can access or obtain to assist them in appropriately converting their lawns to xeriscapes? Are there specific landscape companies or designers in the LV Valley area who might assist in this effort? Perhaps other desert communities and their MCM preservation proponents have already developed these guidelines?

Thanks for the input...

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:32 pm

MCM appropriate xeriscape in vegas is a pet peave/project of mine... we need more homes that live up to what palm springs has laid down in the last 10 years...

i up currently up to my eyeballs in a 1950s mid century model rehab project including a landscape overhaul right now.

i would be happy to give you some tips. but if you're looking for more then tips, i could draw up a modern appropriate landscape plan for you for a reasonable rate.

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:33 pm

also - FYI - to qualify for the rebates out there - there are certain guidelines you have to follow in terms of plant to hardscape.

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Postby Carlos Araujo » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:15 pm

"Todos vuelven a la tierra en que nacieron" Ruben Blades

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Postby rockland » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:13 am

before anyone says eew, the artificial turf is a great product. i have a generous sample of it.
it could be used in a low light trouble area. or in the AQJ home below, it could be used in a small
area instead of some of the concrete. especially near the sliders. like a large doormat. not plastic feeling at all.
it isn't the RV lawn-on-a-roll
usually seen at HD. it does look a bit silly in the snow. i found it shoveling yesterday, tossed it back
onto the planting area, now a bank of snow, tag attached.

this A Quincy Jones home is what i refer to as low maintenance landscape?
Image

it is in my reference file when i start the back deck.

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Postby Luka » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:27 am

The new issue of Atomic Ranch has an article titled "transforming landscaping" which highlights a lot of succulents.

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rockland
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Postby rockland » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:51 am

The NE is rather low maintenance at the moment.
For those of you that miss the snow, or those that need a reminder why you left...
(yes, that is a dog in sheeps clothing)w/artificial grass sample
Image

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scowsa
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Postby scowsa » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:56 am

We (and I literally mean "we") took out our front lawn and parkway this last summer and you can see the results here at

A surprising number of people stopped and made positive comments and asked questions during and after the work and we are seeing more houses in our neighborhood do similar things, often starting with the parkway.

The City of LB has stricter water controls than LA and is actively promoting such approaches. The gardens at the Water Dept's HQ are in this style and the plants all have name cards. Their website also promotes it and provides links to resources.

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scowsa

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Plant Lists

Postby Josquin » Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:09 am

A good place to start for generating a plant list, check around the yard or neighborhood for native plants. From what remains, you can determine the floristic community you live in. Since Las Vegas is so close to California, you could probably use "A Manual of California Vegetation" to determine the native plants that accompany the ones existing in your community. From the information, and a little research, you should be able to determine what would survive in your yard with little to no care.

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Postby Miguel » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:06 pm

A good resource to identify native plants by zip code is the Las Pilitas plant database. Las Pilitas has nurseries in Santa Margarita and Escondido, but have a comprehensive database for native California plants.

http://www.mynativeplants.com/

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Postby CapitalMod » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:47 pm

I think its a great idea and would do it were I a Vegas resident. I remember visiting Phoenix as a kid and being blown away by front yards that were all cacti. Although in Maryland, I am going to plant yucca and hardy cactus in my front yard. Too many azeleas.

There was an Atomic Ranch last year or the year before which featured two guys who bought a house in Palm Springs which had been owned by Jack Webb. There is one pic of the front and it features some desert palms, a few small succulents and alot of rocks. Looks really cool.

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Postby nichols » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:16 pm

Beware...

The yard cops will not be deterred
By STEVE LOPEZ, POINTS WEST
February 13, 2008

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/02/13/metro/me-lopez13

egads
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Postby egads » Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:18 pm


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Postby badjuju77 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:13 pm

I'd like to rip up a great deal of our lawn and replace it with rocks, but how do you keep the weeds at bay? Instead of spending all your time watering and mowing, do you spend it ripping weeds instead?

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Postby egads » Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:57 pm

You use weed stop cloth. It works like the black plastic of old, except water drains through it. Also, there's nothing that says a Xeriscape has to be sparse. It can be as thick as a meadow. But you have to do some weeding until everything fills in.

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Postby scowsa » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:08 am

When we took our grass out we killed it first. Then after taking out the dead sod we planted and then added two diiferent surfaces for aesthetic reasons.

An inch and a half of decomposed granite in most places and rocks in the others. We did use weed cloth under the rocks but not under the DG. We then used a Round Up type product to kill any emerging weeds and and these were just in odd pockets and the need to do this has got less and less. However, I expect we will find the odd ones now and again.
scowsa


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