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WaterSmart landscape contest winner named

Above: Last year’s winning WaterSmart landscaping project, pictured above, created by Bill and Rachel Williams. The 2019 Best in District winner is Deborah Brandt. Courtesy photo/ Vista Irrigation District

VISTA — The Vista Irrigation District board of directors recognized a customer for her entry in the  WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

The annual contest recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on the criteria of overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient methods of irrigation.

Deborah Brandt received the 2019 Best in District award after replacing her water and maintenance intensive lawn with a WaterSmart landscape, saving both water and money.

By including contrasting elements, such as cactus, river rock and wood chips, against a backdrop of dramatic magenta, purple and striking orange, Brandt transformed her yard into an array of textures and colors.

Brandt chose low maintenance plant varieties that grow easily and require little care or trimming, providing her landscape “year-round colorful contrast of form, shape and color.”

Plant selection included a variety of agaves, cactus, yuccas and ornamental grasses, such as Pink Muhly and Pony Tail grass, Sea Lavender, Calandrinia Grandiflora, Bird of Paradise and Sticks on Fire (also called Firestick).

Brandt said she has really enjoyed receiving so many compliments on her yard transformation from friends and neighbors.

With a majority of residential water use in San Diego County attributed to watering landscapes, regional water efficiency efforts focus on outdoor water use.

By showcasing their beautiful landscape in the WaterSmart Landscape Contest, district customers provide other homeowners with ideas and incentives to reduce outdoor water use by installing attractive and efficient water-wise landscaping.

“With rebates available for turf removal, now is a great time to replace your lawn with a beautiful WaterSmart landscape,” said Brent Reyes, water conservation specialist for the district.

The district joined twelve other local agencies that held landscape contests this year, providing an opportunity to showcase residential water-wise landscapes throughout the region.

For more information and examples of WaterSmart landscaping, visit

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