How to Save Water and Have a Beautiful Garden in California


Reducing Outside Water Use Starts with the Right Plants

Sacramento, CA – Can you have a beautiful garden and save water too?  The answer is yes—if the right plants are planted.

Sunset Western Garden Collection, the first live plant collection to focus exclusively on top performing plants for the Western gardener, and Save Our Water, California’s statewide water conservation public education program, have joined forces to make it easier for California gardeners to pick plants that will both thrive and save water.   Twenty out of 29 of the plants in Sunset’s new line of plants bear the Save Our Water logo to help Californians identify the right plants for the state’s Mediterranean climate 

“Californians can definitely have lush, colorful gardens that don’t use a lot of water,” says Janet Sluis, a program developer with Plant Development Services’ Sunset Western Garden Collection.  “Amistad Salvia, Hot Pink Riding Hood Pestemon and Little Miss Sunshine Cistus are just a few of the water-wise plants that will give homeowners the pop of color they want in their landscape without using a lot of water.” 

The Save Our Water program was created by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Association of California Water Agencies to educate consumers on ways to reduce their household water use.  Because more than half of residential water use goes to lawns and outdoor landscaping in many areas of the state, Save Our Water has a heavy focus on outdoor water conservation. 

“Picking the right plants, fixing sprinklers, using drip irrigation, shrinking or eliminating lawn and investing in a smart controller are all ways the people can have beautiful landscapes and substantially reduce their water use at home,” said Julie Saare-Edmonds, a California master gardener and water efficiency expert at DWR.  “Californians have so many beautiful choices of plants that will do well without a lot of water.  The Sunset Plant Finder is a great tool to help people learn what plants to buy.”

Sunset Western Garden Collection plants, which were developed in partnership with trusted experts at Sunset magazine, are currently sold at select independent garden centers and Orchard Supply and Lowe’s locations throughout the state.  Consumers can easily locate the nearest retailer of the collection by visiting this link

Learn more about Water-Wise Gardening

For Californians who would like to learn more about water-wise gardening, they can start by visiting the websites of Save Our Water, Sunset and Sunset Western Garden Collection. 

Save Our Water unveiled a new online web resource this spring, Sprinklers 101, which offers homeowners a host of online resources to help improve their landscape health and reduce their outside water use.  For those looking for landscaping inspiration, the program’s Real People, Real Savings campaign features photos and videos of more than 40 California homes which have water-wise landscaping.  Another dozen will be added this summer.

Sunset’s Plant Finder is the online companion to popular gardening Bible—the Sunset Western Garden Book.  California’s gardeners can search its database for lists and descriptions of plants that fit their particular climate zone, yard size, sun and shade, favorite types of plants, and special needs.  The Plant Finder allows gardeners to: 

Search plants by color, size, type, and growing needs

Browse our A-Z plant list by common and botanical names

Find their Sunset Climate Zone ― the key to knowing what plants will thrive

Use the Advance Search page to find plants for:

–       birds and butterflies

–       rock gardens

–       slopes

–       dry areas

–       shady areas

–       and more special situations

Filter your selections by your climate zone, color, size, and more. Then choose your plants and save them to a favorites list to print and take to the nursery.

In addition, the gardening sections of and Sunset Magazine are filled with information on water-wise gardening, irrigation how-to’s, hardscape ideas and more. For more information about Sunsetrecent garden titles, including The 20-Minute Gardener, and to download the interactive edition of The New Sunset Western Garden Book, go to

The Sunset Western Garden Collection’s website gives gardeners detailed information on how to successful use their plants in residential landscapes and gardens, as well as additional information on:

–  Six Simple Steps to a Water-Wise Garden

–  How to Prepare the Soil

–  Great Plants for Container Gardens

–  And more!

About Save Our Water

The Save Our Water program, which was created by the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies in 2009, educates consumers on ways to reduce their household water use. To learn more about the Save Our Water program, visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

About Sunset Magazine

Sunset ( is the leading lifestyle brand in the West. Through magazines and books, events and experiences, and digital and social media, Sunset covers the West’s best flavors, destinations, design trends, and innovations. Sunset engages and inspires an audience of over five million educated, active and affluent consumers every month through its five regional print editions—Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Southwest and Mountain—as well as via all tablet devices and its website. In addition to its print and digital publication, Sunset showcases the region’s unique lifestyle and noteworthy destinations through its flagship events, established home programs, licensing partnerships, books and International Wine Competition. Sunset is part of the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. 

About Plant Development Services

Plant Development Services works with the world’s top growers and breeders to bring to market plants that impact landscapes with recognizable, marketable improvements. Plant Development Services also introduced the number one multi-season blooming azalea, Encore® Azalea, and the Southern Living® Plant Collection, featuring innovative new plants selected for superior performance in Southern gardens. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:                                                           

Jennifer Persike

Association of California Water Agencies

916-441-4545 or 916-296-3981 (cell)

[email protected]

Nancy Vogel

Dept. of Water Resources

916-651-7512 or 916-796-3048 (cell)

[email protected]

Tara Henley

Plant Development Services


[email protected]

Dana Smith



[email protected]

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Your zip code 20149 is in Zone: 6b with a temperature range of: -5 to 0 °F.

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