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Photo Gallery: A change in the scenery

Lawns have been a dominant part of the American landscape since the 1930s, offering cool beauty and lush turf that extends the living area outdoors. But with a shortage of rainfall, more people are considering replacing grass with drought-tolerant options. (Kirk McKoy / LAT)
Fran and Bill Arrowsmith converted half of their backyard in Torrance into a native plant garden with a wending dirt path. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
The Arrowsmiths’ smaller lawn area merges naturally with the 1,100-square-foot native plant garden, which displays a muted palette of pinks, purples and yellows. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Contrasting tufts of native grasses complement the trimmed lawn in the Arrowsmiths’ backyard. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Coral bells, or heucheras, are a native plant with delicate white and pink flowers. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
The Arrowsmiths say the success of their backyard native garden, with its profusion of greens and wildflower hues, has inspired them to replace the turf in the frontyard. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Peg Pollino switched to a low-water landscape with seasonal color and a stone path for the front of her Westchester home, guided by landscape designer Douglas Kent. (Douglas Kent)
The rich palette and low maintenance of native plants, such as those selected by Peg Pollino, offer a strong alternative to the classic lawn. (Douglas Kent)