A Venice homeowner removed the lawn and replaced it with this colorful landscape

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A former lawn in Venice is now a low-water, low-maintenance landscape.

For proof that inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places, just look at the Venice front yard of Steve Morris, a colorful landscape that was influenced by the grounds of the Brentwood School.

“When I saw the landscaping at the school in 2010, I was reminded that you can have a garden that is visually pretty and saves water, too,” Morris says.

Impressed by the school’s low-water makeover — landscape and irrigation consultant Jerry Budnick removed 5.9 acres of turf at the school and replaced it with drought-tolerant plants — Morris contacted Budnick to help him rethink his front yard.

“I was concerned with water conservation and decided to do a complete makeover,” says Morris, who spent about $10,000 on the new yard including design, materials and labor. (He also received a $600 water rebate from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power).

Budnick kept the mango tree and removed all else including fescue grass, horsetail plants and bamboo. Morris would later install artificial turf on the parking strip.

Drought-tolerant plants that will look great in your garden! »

He then inserted a drip irrigation system, low-voltage lighting and a weed barrier composed of newspaper and cardboard.

Mexican beige pebbles and Malibu landscape boulders came next, followed by aloes, succulents, Beaucarnea recurvata, ocotillo and camellia.

Morris says he has grown to love the small but dynamic landscape.

“It gives me a lot of pleasure to see how the landscape changes,” Morris says of the plant palette, which includes Echeveria Afterglow and Gibbiflora, Sticks on Fire, Aloe Brevifolia and Kalancha Thyrsifolia. “You never know when something is going to bloom. When the ocotillo is flowering, it’s like a moving picture.”

Adds Budnick: “People have a relationship with plants. I fall in love with plants all the time and try not to covet them. When I walk the grounds at Brentwood I think, ‘I knew you when you were little.’”

a-venice-homeowner-removed-the-lawn-and-replaced-it-with-this-colorful-landscape photo 1The front lawn in 2010. (Steve Morris)a-venice-homeowner-removed-the-lawn-and-replaced-it-with-this-colorful-landscape photo 2Shortly after the lawn was removed. (Steve Morris )a-venice-homeowner-removed-the-lawn-and-replaced-it-with-this-colorful-landscape photo 3 a-venice-homeowner-removed-the-lawn-and-replaced-it-with-this-colorful-landscape photo 4Aloes, succulents, ocotillo and more now bloom in the front yard. (Steve Morris)

The source of inspiration:

a-venice-homeowner-removed-the-lawn-and-replaced-it-with-this-colorful-landscape photo 5The grounds of the Brentwood School inspired Venice homeowner Steve Morris to remove his lawn. (Jerry Budnick)a-venice-homeowner-removed-the-lawn-and-replaced-it-with-this-colorful-landscape photo 6The Brentwood School removed ornamental turf from the campus and replaced it with drought-tolerant plants, and mulch. (Jerry Budnick)a-venice-homeowner-removed-the-lawn-and-replaced-it-with-this-colorful-landscape photo 7The Brentwood School. (Jerry Budnick)

Have a turf-removal transformation of your own to share? Submit photos of your drought-tolerant garden makeover to Home@latimes.com. Include "before" and “after” images taken from the same vantage point.

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