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Landscapes awarded for being WaterSmart and beautiful

NORTH COUNTY — Ranging from cottage-style gardens to micro-vineyards, entries in the 2021 San Diego County WaterSmart Landscape Contest showcased the diversity and utility of California-friendly landscaping.

The winning water-wise landscapes in San Diego County were based on overall attractiveness, design, appropriate plant selection, and water efficient irrigation. Get photos of the winning landscapes, along with additional information about the contest at Regional winners may be viewed online at The contest also highlights the social and economic value of water-efficient landscapes to our region, bringing awareness to the benefits of sustainable landscaping to the Southern California community.

Jeri Moore, first-place winner in this Oceanside’s contest, remarked that her “large grass lawn required frequent watering resulting in expensive water bills and maintenance.” However, after educating herself on irrigation and drought-tolerant plants through the city’s and San Diego County Water Authority’s free landscaping workshops, Moore created a water-efficient landscape with a varied array of plants. Now, several areas of her landscape do not require irrigation at all, some areas she hand waters with the water collected from her two rain barrels, or micro bubblers and in-line drip emitters.

Olivenhain Municipal Water District residents, Ken and Susan Terzes, won first spot in OMWD’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The winning design features a variety of water-efficient plants surrounding a cercis or “forest pansy redbud” tree, which will become drought-tolerant once established. The landscape utilizes drip irrigation and wood chips for mulch, further reducing outdoor water use.

The Vista Irrigation District board of directors recognized Lauren Grey won the “Best in District” award and Deborah Brandt and Dorothy Wagemester with honorable mention in the district’s WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

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