Design Resources

StopWaste worked with Bay-Friendly Qualified Professionals to develop plans for four Alameda County homeowners who want to convert their lawns to Bay-Friendly landscapes. If you’re seeking ideas and inspiration for your own lawn conversion project, take a look at these model designs. Each includes:

  • Concept plan: shows overall layout in color
  • Planting plan: shows plant layout, species, spacing, and sizes, and includes notes on soil preparation and how to plant
  • Irrigation plan: shows how to divide planting areas into irrigation zones, and includes helpful notes and technical guidance

If you'd like to hire a designer or contractor directly, visit Rescape California's Directory of Bay-Friendly Qualified Landscape Professionals to find design, construction, and maintenance services.  You can even search specifically for sheet mulching services!

The book Gardens for San Lorenzo came out of a grant awarded by StopWaste to the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association. The grant funded a landscape architecture class at UC Berkeley, which produced 4 lawn conversion design options, published in Gardens for San Lorenzo. Each design includes a plant list, costs, and options for different lot types. The 72 page book also includes how-to information about sheet mulching and other landscape practices, as well as an illustrated list of plants.

Designer: Jennifer Smith, The Greensmith
Location: San Leandro, California
Sunset Zone: 15

When asked, the owner of this corner lot expressed a desire to transform her yard into a “low-maintenance, drought-tolerant retreat.” Designer Jennifer Smith responded with a plan that layers planting to increase privacy and create the illusion of depth.

Designer: Ann Morrison, Chrysalis Gardens
Location: Livermore, California
Sunset Zone: 14

The owners of this property wanted to transform their front lawn into a beautiful and productive garden that would allow them to engage neighbors. Gardeners both, the owners enjoy doing maintenance themselves and wanted to incorporate edibles and native plants. 

Designer: Michael Thilgen, Four Dimensions Landscape
Location: Fremont, California
Sunset Zone: 17

This home's front and back yards had large expanses of water-intensive turf. By replacing much of the lawn with native meadow grasses, Michael Thilgen preserves the yard's usable open space while adding more intimate spaces and layering plantings to create more interesting views from inside the home. Two large oaks anchor the front yard, framing the house and path to the entry.

Designer: Georgia Madden, Feyerabend and Madden
Location: Dublin, California
Sunset Zone: 14

This home's south-facing lawn provides little privacy or shade and needs a lot of water. Georgia Madden suggests replacing the lawn with an array of climate appropriate native plants. By varying the size, color, and seasonal color of the shrubs, her design screens the house from the street, and creates the illusion of depth in this narrow yard. A new path from the street emphasizes the home's entry. A Strawberry tree complements the faade of the house, while providing privacy inside.