Landscape of Janet and Conrad Beck, homeowners on Laguna Street
Janet and Conrad Beck are the City of Oceanside’s 2019 winners of the WaterSmart Landscape Contest, an annual competition recognizing exceptional water-wise landscapes in San Diego County based on overall attractiveness, design, appropriate plant selection, and water efficient irrigation.
The winning landscape, earning the Becks the $250 grand prize, evolved from the Beck’s desire to save water and to showcase how a dull, water-wasting lawn can be transformed into a colorful, vibrant garden. The garden’s plant palette includes a wide variety of California native and drought-tolerant plants, resulting in what the Becks describe as a “whimsical” garden. In replacing their automated sprinkler system with an infrequent need to hand water, the couple realized a water savings of over 3,700 gallons of water per month - virtually cutting their water bill in half!
Three runners-up were awarded honorable mention, along with receiving a gift card to a local Nursery. Gerold Wharton was inspired to bring back livable habitat for native flora and fauna when creating his drought tolerant garden. The more his plants become acclimated and established, they have less irrigation needs—to the point where they will not need any irrigation in the near future.
A homeowner on Stanley Street, Kim Wascher first removed her lawn in order to reduce her water costs as well as the heavy maintenance that her lawn required. Her idea turned into a plan and she exchanged her water-thirsty grass for a wildlife habitat that now attracts butterflies, lizards, bugs and a plethora of birds. On summer evenings, she’ll even enjoy bats flying through the yard.
From Left: Landscapes of Gerold Wharton, Kim Wascher and Laura Cates
Having moved to Oceanside from the Midwest just a handful of years ago, Laura Cates, a homeowner on Boysenberry Way, was not yet familiar with growing succulents. She just knew that she was fed up with the inferior quality of turf that encompassed both her front and back yards. Lucky for her she had a sister-in-law who spread her enthusiasm for the colorful, easy-to-grow, low-water-use plants. Laura is now well-known to her neighbors as something of a plant guru who is only too willing to help others get started with a clipping or two from her own yard. She says that she likes to think she’s paying it forward.
Congratulations to all participants! The annual WaterSmart Landscape Contest runs from January through April each year. For more information, please visit the Green Oceanside website and select the water conservation icon.