The back yard behind the guest house (as opposed to the Middle yard) was a large expanse of water greedy grass which we didn’t want to keep at all. Bill (Mohr, father of Paul) and Paul cut and rolled up the sod, and we found someone who wanted it on Craigslist! The sod is now the happy play field of some Los Altos toddlers, and our plan is to turn this area into a California native meadow that requires only minimal watering.
As part of the house build, we will be installing a 9000 gal rainwater cachement tank which will catch the water from our roof, and our plan is to use it to water the yard, and keep all the landscaping municipal water independent. We have several fruit trees on the property (figs, plums and loquats), and a few almond trees, and we will be bringing our blueberry bushes and dwarf citrus. The trees plus a vegetable garden will need some water year round, but the meadow grasses are all adapted to dry climates and go dormant in the summer after being a riot of wildflowers in the spring. Since we will have lots of dirt left over from the excavation for our rainwater cachement tank, we were planning to put in a few undulations in the otherwise rather flat back yard… of course we’re keeping the yurt and the play structure!