WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest

2020 Countywide Winner 

Poole-Hickey Family | Santa Barbara 


The Poole-Hickey family is the winner from Santa Barbara as well as the Countywide contest winner. When the drought inspired the family to switch out their lawn for something more native and natural, Ms. Poole, an architect, took inspiration from the landscaping in her architectural designs. The garden utilizes every bit of space available and includes many water wise features, such as a rain barrel to capture water onsite for irrigation, downspout pipes, and drip irrigation. The garden is designed to attract native birds and insects, and has also become a social place for neighbors to enjoy. Their latest project has been an herb garden in the parkway, which uses permeable pavement. 

2020 Regional Winners

Laura and Geof Wyatt | Montecito 


Laura and Geof Wyatt have been living in their Montecito home for 25 years. They began replacing their lawn areas with natives after the drought hit and they realized how much water and maintenance the grass required. They originally focused on designing their garden with non-pollinating plants, as Laura has a fear of bees, but 25 years later they have added citrus and stone fruit trees as well as pollinating grasses, and they love seeing and hearing bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds enjoy their yard. They also enjoy making homemade jam and ice cream from the fruit trees. They use 100% drip irrigation as well as gravel and mulch to help hold in moisture. 

Bob and Pat Wingate | Carpinteria 


Bob and Pat Wingate, the winners from Carpinteria, were motivated by the California drought to redo their lawn. Bob and Pat were participants in Carpinteria Valley Water District's WaterWise Landscape Rebate Program in 2017, and have completed all of the work on their garden themselves. In addition to native vegetation, they also utilize rain barrels to capture water onsite, and rarely need to irrigate. They particularly enjoy the wildlife that their garden attracts, including Monarch butterflies that flock to their milkweed plant.

Linda Zivich | Vandenberg Village


Linda Zivich of Vandenberg Village designed and maintains her garden entirely by herself. When she moved into her home nine years ago, she began replacing the lawn with low maintenance, drought tolerant plants. She loves the natural greens of the plants, and has enjoyed creating color in her front yard using native shrubs and grasses. The garden features meticulous attention to detail, and includes solar powered lights for nighttime and labelled placards for the different plant species. Linda enjoys designing her friend's gardens to be more water wise, and has helped several of them win garden contests of their own. 

2014 Contest Winner

 Taylor_WaterWise 2014 Stone

Jim and Tanya Taylor's WaterWise garden won 1st place for the 2014 WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest, held in Carpinteria by the Carpinteria Valley Water District. 



Before and after pictures of the 1950 bungalow in the Concha Loma neighborhood, a year and a half after planting. An expanse of Bermuda grass was replaced with gravel paths and hillocks, planted with a casual mix of low maintenance and water wise grasses, succulents, bushes and fruit trees.



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A bucket is used in the shower to capture the initial cold water in the plumbing lines. This water is then deposited into one of many "drip buckets" spread throughout the landscape, which offers plants a slow soaking.