DESIGN & MAINTENANCE considerations


  • Planting designs based on hydrozones ( plants w/ like cultural needs are planted together so irrigation rates are appropriate for every plant.) Newly installed designs feature native and drought-resistant plants except where many water-thirsty plants will be retained. 
  • Lawn reduction or elimination.

We recommend or downsizing  replacing unneeded lawns with hardscaping or planting beds. Where lawns are needed for play, we recommend limiting their size as possible, and planting drought tolerant activity-appropriate turf.

  • Water-saving drip irrigation. ‘Smart’ irrigation controllers
  • Sustainably sourced hardscaping materials
  • Mulch for weed suppression, evaporation reduction, and aesthetics.
  • LED lighting systems for energy efficiency
  • Hardscaping and Planted areas: a balance… 

The trend towards low-maintenance and low-water gardens has resulted in a shift in landscaping design where planted areas and hardscaping balance each other.  While hardscaping might be more expensive up-front, over time this investment pays off due to the lower maintenance and water bills.


Ongoing maintenance must be considered as part of the garden design process. While many drought tolerant gardens can be low maintenance, most gardens require monthly to quarterly maintenance to protect your landscaping investment. 

Earthly Delights loves to maintain the gardens we design to be sure the original vision for the garden remains intact.  See details below.


Contemporary garden designs now include creative combinations of hardscaping materials, often punctuated with succulents and other low-water accent plants.  This more restrained plant palette, can also be interpreted with Japanese garden design principles by including strolling paths, aesthetically pruned focal point plants, dry stream beds and boulders.  

For those who love plants and find gardening a source of joy, we love and do design horticulturally rich gardens as well.

SUSTAINABLE MAINTENANCE PRACTICES (for new or established gardens)

  • Seasonal pruning and grooming
  • Mulching (annually or as needed).  We usually mulch with microbark –which gradually breaks down, and feeds the soil.
  • Fertilizing (usually annually)with organic soil amendments to replenish soil nutrients. 
  • IPM (Integrated Pest Management).
  • Irrigation adjustment and repair.
  • Aesthetic Pruning – (annually, seasonally or as needed – see Aesthetic Pruning page.