Lead Agent:

Steve Cairncross


DRE #00859218

Berkshire Hathaway


California Properties

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 

Attn: Team Cairncross

1299 Prospect Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

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Low Maintenance Backyards: What We’re Seeing in San Diego

Making the decision to switch to a low maintenance backyard for your home provides many options and advantages for easy living. Lots of homes throughout the coastal Southern California area are making transitions in their outdoor spaces, and Team Cairncross explores some field observations below:

Plant Based Preferences

Coastal climates in neighborhoods like La Jolla and Pacific Beach have to consider salt air and sun when choosing greenery that can thrive in a low maintenance backyard.

Many homeowners who were early adopters of the low maintenance living lifestyle opted for desert landscapes and succulent gardens, but that isn’t the ideal design or style for every home. Coastal climates in neighborhoods like La Jolla and Pacific Beach have to consider salt air and sun when choosing greenery that can thrive in a low maintenance backyard. Some of our favorite options from Home Stratosphere are easy to care for and easy to grow. Coastal rosemary is great for both gardening and cooking. Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb which makes it resilient to sea air. Ornamental grasses are easy to grow and tolerate very diverse conditions. There are plenty of types of ornamental grass, making it easy to find one that works with your coastal backyard. Flowers like apple blossom, lavender, darwin’s barberry, and sea thrift all offer colorful options that are climate friendly.

Artificial Turf + Play

Many homeowners have found they can save time and conserve water with a switch to artificial or synthetic grass. This lawn substitute is usually made from nylon, polyethylene, or polypropylene and can be treated to look like different species. In addition to being used as a traditional replacement to grass, it can create an ambiance or outdoor experience like in the homes below.

This contemporary enclave from Houzz shows off a southern California home with a unique seating area that has been enhanced with an artificial grass statement.

A classic option that we often see is in our current La Jolla listing, where an outdoor area is transformed into a putting green.

Creative Concepts

The evolution of outdoor entertaining has lead to some exciting new ways to convert your backyard that are low maintenance.

Al Fresca Inspired. Using natural elements like tree trunk stools for chairs and a rustic table allow you to create a space that seamlessly blends with your backyard. A pergola with string lights and hanging flowers is another way to transform a landscape into a European inspired oasis.

Outdoor Cinema. In weather appropriate neighborhoods like Pacific Beach and La Jolla, adding outdoor entertainment is as easy as a screen or projector. Turning your backyard into a small cinema set up is another way to make it low maintenance.

Minimalist inspired sustainable backyard

Minimalist. One of our favorite options for a sustainable backyard is a tonal and minimalist look. Sleek patio furniture and whitewashed paneling set atop a gravel garden allows for easy up keep with no gardening needed.