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Why Did I Overhaul My San Antonio Yard?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Criado Realty 0548772

San Antonio, TX is a zone 8 climate which typically is hot from March to November with an occasional freeze once or twice a year for 2-3 days; albeit we've had some unusual weather since 2021, it's actually rare we get colder than 32. Between the months of June & September it can be quite unbearably hot, reaching numerous consecutive days in the 100s.  Being that we source our water from San Antonio Water Systems, they struggle with keeping us alive and hydrated, SAWS offers water saving program rebates and coupons.  

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The first thing you really need to do is have a discussion with the key people in the household to see if everyone is on board. Believe it or not, it can be a controversial issue to pull out all your grass and water sucking plants to replace with water saving items, lowering your water bill and loving mother nature. I'm not new to home ownership but I am new to being a sole homeowner having 100% control over what I buy and how I maintain my home so this was not an issue for me at all. 

Last July I bought a garden home with a 20ft front, an 8ft rear, and a 14ft side (my back) yard. I wanted a low maintenance home that wouldn't make a mess on my patio, yard, or driveway. San Antonio has tons of beautiful Oak trees and me living in an 80s community means massive trees.  Every Spring these beautiful trees give off horrible levels of green pollen causing green dust and particles caked on our patios, driveways, and cars. Worse, it was landing in my eco-friendly hot tub and certainly that isn't good at all. When I bought this home I was super ecstatic it didn't have trees. The side yard came with an astroturf and a covered patio. But the front yard had traditional (ugly) water sucking pain-in-the-axx boxwoods and grass. The only things I loved about it was the existing trellis style bench and the mature Mountain Laurel tree; but I could see the potential. 

In the hot month of August, just days after I closed, while the movers were moving, I was outside yanking Boxwoood and other ugly old fashioned  somewhat dead shrubs.  You see, every March to December we seem to have water restrictions so sprinkler systems are not allowed or are very limited and who really wants to stand outside watering with a hose or moving a sprinkler around? If you're retired maybe, but most of us would prefer to not do it.  Review Stage 1 & Review Stage 2.  By the time you hit Stage 3 your grass and plants will die unless you water frequently and at 7-11am.  Stage 4 is zero tolerance for watering with fines.    Using my own money (not waiting or not researching the rebate programs yet) I spent about $500.00 on updating with native plants, shrubs, fresh soil, mulch and soaker hoses to give my home a colorful, natural front. 

Fast forward to January 2023, I took the time to research, making phone calls, reading articles, calling nurseries, and talking to SAWS people to find out how exactly these rebate programs work. After sharing some of this in my online gardening groups I decided to blog it.  It's not one program so it made sense to break this down.  Feel free to read one, all, or none. I just needed to break it down into bite size chunks. 

Details About the Programs I Used

The Zen of Xeriscape - By SAWS

What Does SAWS Offer?


Posted by
Cathy Criado President & Founder
Published Author
Your Real Estate Consultant!
999 E Basse Rd. #180-425, ​San Antonio, TX  78209​
​Direct:  (210) 560-1891
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Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Cathy,

If you're happy we are happy with your redesigned yard. Everyone has their own taste so glad you know yours and made it happen!

May 24, 2023 04:25 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Well with a title like that I could argue and say you went to the same school as Diane:)Endre

May 24, 2023 10:11 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Cathy. You not only took the right road but the high road. You have to do what you have to do and what you did is right. Enjoy your day.

May 25, 2023 04:15 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Cathy. You did what was right for your climate and as long as you're happy with it, that's what counts. 

May 25, 2023 04:33 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Rebates sound great, but I am always confused by talk of water shortages when 75% of the earth is water, haha.

May 25, 2023 05:51 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Cathy, that is the beauty when owning a home, you can do what you want.

May 25, 2023 07:59 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Kathy Streib we have watering restrictions in California as well. The water bills are high.  I like the drought-tolerant landscapes. I am seeing more homes in my area replacing their lawn with beautiful hardscapes.  Over time, it will save on the water bill. 

No doubt what you have done with your home is beautiful and YOU will enjoy it. 

May 25, 2023 08:34 AM