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Read on to see how these 5 yard owners revamped them into inspiring oasis on a budget. These designed-for-drought dream yards don't necessarily come without a bit of extra prep (or in some cases a whole lot of elbow grease). But they do grow fast. Thanks to diverse blends of California native plants, water-saving mediterranean species and functional food-producing and cut-flower species. Whether you want to up the curb appeal on an accent bed or redo the whole yard, here's a few stories of how average home owners got their bare dirt covered without breaking the bank. 

From Weeds to Wildflowers

Home owners who turned their dead yard into an affordable oasis with wildflowers

With zero maintenance. This was Roshin & Wyatt's first front yard. After years of awesome apartments, they were excited to renovate their home's all gravel and weeds landscape. They dreamed up a beautiful escape zone that featured a bocce ball court, lots of succulents and a native wildflower garden. But there didn't seem to be a lot of options out there that fit within their budget. 

Then a mutual friend told them about California Wild Gardens, and within a month they had picked out 2 large designs, gotten their plans customized (mostly for the large bocce ball court shown in images of the Xeric Modern plant package) and were ready for install. They were most excited about the blossoming flower garden of drought-tolerant California natives. This "was a super fast and cost-effective way to landscape with native plants," says Roshin. 

Once covered in weeds and thick gravel their front yard is now a native wildflower garden. After removing some of the excess stones, they hired a crew and had their new yard installed in a weekend thanks to the pre-done design plans and online plant ordering service. 

Once covered in weeds and thick gravel their frontyard is now a native wildflower garden. After removing some of the excess stones, they hired a crew and had their new yard installed in a weekend. A quick fix for a hot gravel entry! Transformed into a colorful wildflower & ornamental grass meadow in less than a month. By turning a decent amount of the already existing gravel into the soil the crew helped create the ideal drainage conditions for California native plants to thrive.

The homeowners chose to work with the existing flagstone walkway and horizontal cedar fence to end up with a beautiful lawn-free entry garden for less than $5,000. . This included the cost of installing drip irrigation. When drought restrictions hit their yard's first summer, their plants were already 4 months in, established and ready for it!

At about 1-year of age the garden's reached %75 fill-in. The poppies, yarrow & blue-eyed grasses continue to self-sow more each spring. Larger desert and chaparral wildflowers hold on in early summer (dying back during peak heat) before pluming ornamental grasses take off and get showy in fall.

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Crushing Curb Appeal with Native Grasses + Small Wildflowers

Jay had a nice front yard but needed to remove the grass in his parkway and replace it with drought-tolerant plants fast. When he stumbled upon California Wild and saw their free shipping services to Redondo Beach he ordered immediately.

"Great packages and customer service," Jay told us. In less than 6 days and $1,500 later his curb bed was done and delivered. This "takes all the leg work out of trying to track down the plants you are looking for."

CWG even delivered a few extra grasses he decided to put in outside his busy Redondo Beach real estate office.

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Succulents, Native Sages and Mediterranean Herbs

Both working from home and with losses in the family, these homeowners were ready for the lawn to be gone. And for the view outside the large windows of their California Spanish-style home to bring them some joy. With close Greek heritage and a history of living on both the East & West coast they wanted something blended, modern AND timeless.

Their Mediterranean Magic garden now features year-round beauty. From gorgeous California native shrubs and big blooming succulents. That provide a minimalist sage foliage color scheme complimented by a range of soft purple blossoms and explosive yellow conical blooms.
While this front yard design took some extra customization to work around the shade and root system of an elegant old olive tree. 2 years later it is now an award-winner. Being decorated with a Golden Arrow Award from the Pasadena Beautiful Foundation in 2023. (The colorful corner plant collection spiced up the shady nook with Coral bells, Sedums & shade-tolerant Mexican sages).

With removing all of their lawn and adding large Decomposed Granite walkways the total installation took about a week and came in around $10,000. But you can get the finest foliage forms from this yard on-the-grow for as little as $850 by clicking below.

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Grow Your Groceries - Container Edition

Olympia was tired of giving her money to Wholefoods. And the ambitious career-centric mom of 3 was not about to let a paved backyard stop her. With the help of California Wild's design team she chose a large Custom Pottery Assortment big enough to house a HUGE variety of full-size fruit trees (including dwarf avocados).

In less than 3 weeks since landing on our website she and her gardener had planted more than a dozen heat-tolerant fruit trees, complete with companion plants, colorful pollinator-attracting flowers and container-friendly raspberries. (the plants and soils for filling the containers came in at less than $4,000)

"THIS. IS. EVERYTHING!" said Olympia, "Sign me up for ALL of it!" Honestly, her enthusiasm made me blush!

Less than two weeks after planting Olympia already feels like this garden has changed her life. "I have always wanted to both fill our yard with hummingbird and native plants but also cultivate my own patio orchard and garden so that our family has its own food source [while] providing habitat and protection for the insects, birds, and wildlife that we need in order to take care of our planet."

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The New Classic: from Dead Lawn to Silver & Gold

This property had a dead spot in its front lawn that just wouldn't go away. Between the full winter shade & the baking summer heat, the garden closest to the house was struggling.

After some cosmetic improvements on the entry, the home owner was ready to improve the planting too. And cut out the lawn that just wasn't surviving. "I want something soft and soothing without a lot of busy colors," she says. And she was looking for something calming to help the household's energy feel easy.

With understated shrubs and fragrant herbs (plus a few classic white roses)the prototype design for the Soft Tuscan plant pack came to life. By using a variety of silver-leaved plants from both California and Mediterranean climates this package creates a soft but lively blend of white, gold and lavender flowers.

The plants were delivered and professionally installed by a local landscaper in less than a week. With a total budget of $5,500 (not including a new brick walkway). This cost provided for a lot of soil amendments, disposal fees for the bulky old concrete edging and install of new drip irrigation.

In keeping with the wild garden philosophy the blend of California native & provencal plants is also drought-tolerant and a haven for pollinators. The fragrant herbs even help honey bees and beneficial insects to fend off threatening diseases.

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