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In “Try Rock Gardens to Soften the Look of Drought-Friendly Yards,” reporter Suzanne Sproul describes how Southern California homeowners are using local rocks as water-saving ornaments in the yard–and how beautiful the results can be.

“Pairing rocks and ornamental grasses and sages is ideal, combining both hard and soft textures and movement to a scene,” Sproul writes. “Julie Moir Messervy, an award-winning Vermont landscape designer and gardening expert, also believes in life after lawns and helped develop an app to help individuals switch from water-hogging landscapes to water-smart designs.”

Home Outside designers created the drought-tolerant design above with outcroppings of local stone, native plants, and a play area of artificial turf for a Southern California family.