Who Needs Water? LOCAL STUDENTS HONOR BEAUTIFUL DROUGHT-TOLERANT DESIGNS
BY MARYBETH BIZJAK
tudents from Kit Carson International Baccalaureate Candidate School in East Sacramento recently announced the winners of Beauty Without Water, a design contest to find the best drought-tolerant front yards in Sacramento. The winners were Mike and Joan Zeglarskis of Elmhurst for best overall design; Isaac Gonzalez of Tahoe Park for best use of space for beauty and function; Barbara Legacy of South Land Park/Greenhaven for best use of nonliving amenities; and Holly Wunder Stiles of East Sacramento for best use of native plants.
They wanted to spotlight pioneering Sacramento residents who have responded to the drought with landscaping creativity and ingenuity.
East Sacramento resident Holly Wunder Stiles was recognized for her use of native plants
They announced the contest in May and accepted submissions until Sept. 1. The contest was open to residents of East Sacramento, Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, the Pocket, Greenhaven, Arden and Carmichael. The students, now eighth-graders, got together with Larsen this fall to select four winners based on photographs and written descriptions The idea for the contest came about from the contestants. They notified last spring, when 19 seventh-grade the winners in October and explained students in teacher Jed Larsen’s the reasoning behind their selections design and technology class proposed in a written statement. a drought landscape competition as a According to their submission, class project. They wanted to spotlight the Zeglarskis replaced their lawn pioneering Sacramento residents who with drought-tolerant plants such as have responded to the drought with French lavender, lantana, heavenly landscaping creativity and ingenuity. bamboo and blue fescue. The
landscape includes gravel pathways and decorative rocks placed according to the principles of Zen garden design. There’s also a fountain made from an old millstone, a bench and low-voltage lighting. About the Zeglarskis’ winning design, the students wrote, “This yard made a great first impression, yet grew more beautiful as we began to appreciate the balance between design and function. The yard is both beautiful and welcoming. It balances so many characteristics of drought-tolerant yards without being overwhelmed by any of them.” For his winning design, Gonzalez removed the grass from the front yard and replaced it with rocks, ground
wood chips, cacti and succulents. He also constructed a raised-bed vegetable garden. “We were struck by how much this yard was both a place to be looked at and lived in,” the students wrote. “Each angle provided a new experience. It was easy for us to imagine coming home to a yard like this, enjoying the craft of it, but also experiencing it with friends and family. It’s a yard, garden and living space in one.” Legacy’s winning front yard features a rock path designed to look like a dry river bed and droughttolerant plants that look like they could have grown on an embankment
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