Search Backing sky grass
Office of Sustainability and the Environment


Ramesh Ramalingam and Blanca Andres had two goals when they decided to renovate the front yard of their Ocean Park home last winter. First, they wanted their yard to reflect their environmental consciousness with drought-tolerant landscaping. And second, they wanted to make it a happy, useful space for their family.

With the help of a landscape architect selected from the City of Santa Monica’s “Buy Local” list, the couple scored big on both goals. They redesigned the yard so they and their two children could make better use of the space, added a new fence for the dog, and replaced their lawn with sustainable, native landscaping. While it was an expensive project— with a $3,000 rebate from the city helping to trim the cost—the payback has been quite substantial: The family has saved 643 gallons of water a day—more than 120,000 gallons—in the 16 months since the project was finished, and significant value was added to their home.

Change did not come easily for everyone, because going water-smart meant saying goodbye to some favorite plants. But the milkweed planted with the drought-tolerant landscaping to replace the lawn has provided a spectacular benefit the entire family is enjoying. It attracts and sustains beautiful Monarch butterflies, colorful travelers who visit the yard for egg-laying, caterpillar-raising and nectar-drinking purposes during their seasonal migrations to and from Mexico—making these water heroes pollinator heroes, as well!

Converting to Drip Irrigation - The Definitive Guide


All About Plants

Take a gander at some gorgeous gardens, point and click on the plants you like and automatically compile a printable list of plants type with all the details required to get you started. 

Find a Pro


Looking for help from a professional?  Try the WaterSense Directory of Certified Professionals.



Stop invasive plants from endangering California's wildlands.  Discover beautiful, non-invasive plants for you at PlantRight.   

City of Santa Monica © 2018

Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626