Source: County of Santa Barbara
The 2020 WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest launched this spring to recognize beautiful, water-efficient residential gardens throughout Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Water Agency and participating local water providers encouraged residents to apply for the contest and enter into the running for an agency award and the countywide grand prize. A winner from each of the participating water provider’s service areas received an engraved sandstone sign to display in their gardens.
The County grand prize winner was the Poole-Hickey Family of Santa Barbara for their beautiful and water-thrifty garden.
Ms. Poole, an Architect, took inspiration from the landscapes in her architecture designs and designed the family’s garden to be drought-tolerant and to attract native insects and birds. The family also installed a rain barrel to capture rainwater on-site to use for irrigation, and redirected the downspout pipes to the front yard rather than the street. The garden uses mostly rainwater and watering by hand, with some drip irrigation in the summer. The Poole-Hickey garden has become a social place, where neighbors can sit on the sandstone wall and socialize while enjoying the garden.
Other finalists for the grand prize and winners in their respective regions were Bob and Pat Wingate of Carpinteria, Laura and Geof Wyatt of Montecito, and Linda Zivich of Vandenberg Village. Photos of each awarded garden can be seen at www.WaterWiseSB.org/GChome.
The winning gardens displayed a wide variety of themes, plant palettes, and high-efficiency irrigation methods. These home gardens demonstrate that water-wise gardens can be lush and colorful, attract wildlife, and are low maintenance. Many winners replaced their original lawns and now enjoy the added benefit of a lower water bill.
Coming out of the recent drought, the WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest is a timely way to recognize residents who are doing their part to be water-wise while maintaining an aesthetic garden.
The participating water providers were the City of Santa Barbara, Montecito Water District, Carpinteria Valley Water District, and the Vandenberg Village Community Services District.