A rain garden in Brentwood
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A rain garden in Brentwood

A rain garden in Brentwood

This hilltop home in Brentwood’s Mandeville Canyon has been landscaped with water-saving plants and installed with rain storage tanks. The resulting rain garden, fed by precipitation, won the American Society of Landscape Architects’ national Quality of Life Award of Merit in 2018 in the “Projects over $300,000” category.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

This water-saving hilltop yard, designed by Marilee Kuhlmann and Tom Rau of Urban Water Group, is featured on the Assn. of Professional Landscape Designers’ SEE (“Succulent Edible Ethical) Garden Tour on April 13, 2019.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

The yard before renovation.

 (Saxon Holt / Urban Water Group)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Re-landscaped to conserve water, the yard now features swaths of native field sedge (Carex praegracilis).

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Cisterns were installed to hold rainwater, which is then pumped out as needed via drip irrigation.

 (Saxon Holt / Urban Water Group)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Cistern installation, continued. Although this was a big-budget makeover, many of the techniques and plants used here can be scaled smaller.

 (Saxon Holt / Urban Water Group)
A rain garden in Brentwood

A 5,000-gallon water tank is housed inside a structure custom-built to match the home’s architecture.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

L.A.'s Urban Water Group was hired to design and install the water-saving garden. The company’s Tom Rau and Marilee Kuhlmann stand near Carex appressa clumping sedge, foreground, with Carex praegracilis field sedge behind them.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Vegetable garden.

 (Saxon Holt / Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic)
A rain garden in Brentwood

A water rock provides sustenance for birds, butterflies, insects, bees and grasshoppers.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Euphorbia myrsinites (myrtle spurge)

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Penstemon parryi (Parry’s penstemon)

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

A succulent garden is part of a water-saving yard in Mandeville Canyon.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Aloe striata (coral aloe), with orange flowers; Senecio cylindricus (narrow-leaf chalksticks) in the foreground; and Senecio serpens (blue chalksticks), the low-growing mounds.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A rain garden in Brentwood

Tom Rau and Marilee Kuhlmann of Urban Water Group stand in a water-saving yard that won the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2018 Quality of Life Merit Award.

 (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
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