As those of us on the East Coast settle into seasonally crisp fall weather, our friends in California continue to feel the effects of a years-long drought that has residents rethinking their landscaping — one of many necessary lifestyle changes. Jordan Reid, the founding editor of , co-owner of online shop , and lifestyle expert for , recently relocated with husband Kendrick Strauch, their two children, and a pair of pups from a small town just outside New York City to the Bay Area — a place strongly impacted by the water shortage. The family decided they’d rethink the existing front yard by replacing its dead and dying plants with more drought-tolerant species in a process called “xeriscaping.” They hired a pro off Thumbtack to design a solution more appropriate for the new reality of the local climate, thereby reducing the need for supplemental watering.
The yard didn’t feel very “California” at first. Jordan longed for a landscape that seemed light and bright with lots of plants and an airy, open vibe. Over the next three months, the couple transformed their front yard to suit that aesthetic vision, as well as the limitations brought on by severe drought. Jordan started by pulling out the many dead and dying plants, along with a low wooden fence just off the porch and its dated red mulch. Next, she added succulents and other native, drought-resistant plants to create a lush landscape that requires little watering. She replaced very large plants with smaller ones so the succulents would have plenty of room in which to grow among a grey gravel surface with modern appeal. The boring exterior entryway also received a much-needed, decorative update with contrasting plants in collected ceramic pots. The entire project cost just over $1,000 in total, but made a huge impact on the sustainability and look of the front yard. For more of Jordan’s home improvement chronicles, check out her blog . —