This is the final result of several months of evolution, a rock garden populated by cactus, succulents and native plants. Water bills have gone from over $300/month to $25. Outdoor watering is done with a rain water collection system. The following pictures chronicle the process from grass to xeriscape.
This is what the front yard looked like before the drought hit. Still required copious irrigation to keep it looking like this.
Then the drought hit Texas and in spite of pouring water on the yard, the lawn and plants began dieing off.
After removing the dead shrubberies, rock was brought in from various local excavations using a 4 x 8 utility trailer. A few plants were bought from local nurseries, but most were transplanted from other areas of the yard or from cuttings and pups from friends and neighbors.
Fall of 2011. The xeriscape portion is begun.
Spring of 2012. The plan is to keep the grass. As the drought continued, the grass became more difficult to maintain.
The initial phase kept the lawn, but made rock gardens populated with cactus and succulents.
The first stage of turf grass removal is seen in the background. in the foreground, the dry creek bed is beginning to take shape.
The grass was removed and decomposed granite put in it's place. Driftwood from Lake Travis and potery serve as accent pieces.
Stone benches were made from rock for a cost of about $25 each.
Here is the initial design of the dry creek bed. The rock was brought from Lake Travis about a half mile from our house.
Here we are in the fall of 2012. There is still water hungry asiatic jasmine in the right lower part of the photo.
This is the upper portion of the dry creek bed in the front yard in fall 2012.
Street view of the front yard in Fall of 2012.
This photo shows the removal of the Asiatic jasmine and addition of a rock garden with succulents and cactus. Decomposed granite in the foreground.
The dry creek bed has been extended in June of 2013 and more plants added on it's banks.
This was never part of the plan. It was supposed to be easy care "zero" scape. You know, rocks, boulders, cactus and forget. This is totally nuts. What was I thinking. I am not quite sure where to go from here.
Dry creek bed June 2013. This creek bed actually had rapids during a recent thunder storm.
The front yard dry creek bed has had addition of more plants. It is a dry creek bed, but during a recent rain storm, the creek bed actually had rapids and almost overflowed it's banks. The creek bed serves as a storm sewer for our yard and prevents erosion.
Another view of the upper front yard creek bed.
And to think that when this started, I was worried that it would never fill in the space.