A luxe landscape for less: 5 ideas to save money

A luxe landscape for less: 5 ideas to save money

From Garden Design Magazine —
With all of the beautiful projects shown online and in magazines, it’s not hard for your taste level to outstrip your budget. How do professional designers handle this challenge? By cleverly reusing existing materials, amping up the star power on a few key elements, and using inexpensive techniques that actually look better than their pricier counterparts, they are able to get major bang for a little less buck. Here’s how they do it.

Read the Article

P.S. – the San Diego County Water Authority has a new fact sheet listing cost estimates for plants, irrigation and other landscape design materials — great information to help figure out what you can and can’t include in your water efficient landscape design.

See the Cost Estimates

 

September 22 – Plant Extravaganza at Balboa Park

September 22 – Plant Extravaganza at Balboa Park

The Plant Extravaganza, brought to you by the Master Gardeners of San Diego County, is Saturday, September 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. Thousands of drought tolerant plants are for sale.

Plant Sale

  • Drought tolerant plants
  • California natives
  • Flowers
  • Succulents
  • Cool Season Vegetables

Marketplace

  • Birdhouses
  • Garden Art
  • Used books
  • Green Elephant Sale
  • FREE Garden tool sharpening **
  • ** Each adult attendee can bring 1 hand pruner to be sharpened, which should be in working order, under 9″, and have your name on the handle.

Exhibits & Demonstrations

  • Tasting Booth
  • Fall Planting – Veggies, Herbs, Fruit Trees
  • Gardens in the Community
  • Certify your Garden as “Earth Friendly”
  • New Irrigation Techniques
  • “Ask a Master Gardener” consultants
  • How to Compost and Vermicompost
  • Container/Small Space Gardening
  • Good Bugs/Bad Bugs
  • How to propagate your own plants

Location

A simple and sustainable garden

A simple and sustainable garden

From Garden Design Magazine —
Designing and installing a new landscape is no small project. But inspiration and simplicity help — a lot. Garden Design Magazine is featuring a water efficient landscape that you might find as beautiful, liveable and doable as we do. We liked that it includes a small patch of lawn for a granddaughter and a dog to play, that it features long banks of the same plant, which is always more visual than planting one of everything, and that it features concrete pavers, which you can make yourself. The article also includes a plant list.

Read a Small Property Gets a Simple & Sustainable Garden

Saturday, Sep 15 – Electric Vehicle Day Ride and Drive

Saturday, Sep 15 – Electric Vehicle Day Ride and Drive

The San Diego Electric Vehicle Day Ride and Drive event is tomorrow — Saturday, September 15 at Liberty Station from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event, which was the largest Electric Vehicle Day event in the U.S. last year, offers the opportunity to test drive more than 40 makes and models of hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles — with no pressure from salespeople to make a purchase.

And — this is BIG! — there will be a drawing at the end of each hour for three $1,000 rebates. That’s 15 rebates that are in addition to the federal tax credit and State of California rebates already available when you purchase an electric vehicle.

Helix celebrated our new electric vehicles and charging stations this week to make the employers and property management companies we serve aware of SDG&E’s Power Your Drive program, and to make all of our customers aware of the ride and drive event tomorrow. We hope you check it out.

Event Highlights & Details

Helix celebrates new electric vehicle charging stations

Helix celebrates new electric vehicle charging stations

Helix, SDG&E and the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove gathered yesterday to celebrate Helix’s new electric vehicle charging stations, which the district installed through SDG&E’s Power Your Drive program.

SDG&E NewsCenter: watch the video and read the blog post

News 8 San Diego: video coming soon

Installing electric vehicle charging stations at our operations center and administration office is our latest cost control initiative. We received rebates of $5,500 from the State of California on each of the six Priuses we purchased over the last two years. They average over 75 miles per gallon and the district expects to save an additional $1,000 per vehicle per year in avoided fuel costs. Integrating electric vehicles into our vehicle fleet will accelerate when hybrid light-duty trucks become available.

But controlling costs isn’t our only motivation for going electric. Helix’s board of directors also wants this district to be part of the solution – to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the sustainability of the communities we serve and the sustainability of California’s water resources.

Above
Front to back: Helix board president Kathleen Hedberg, Helix director Mark Gracyk, Lemon Grove councilwoman Jennifer Mendoza, Helix director Dan McMillan, El Cajon deputy director of public works Yazmin Arellano, SDG&E electric vehicle customer solutions manager Lianna Rios and La Mesa analyst Jenny Lybeck. Arellano and Lybeck manage their city’s climate action plan.

Above
Helix board president Kathleen Hedberg giving an interview to News 8.

Above
Helix general manager Carlos Lugo (left) and facilities manager Joe Garuba, who initiated and managed the installation of the charging stations with SDG&E.

Above
SDG&E communications manager Helen Gao and electric vehicle customer solutions manager Lianna Rios.

Above
From left: Helix facilities manager Joe Garuba, operations director Kevin Miller, water quality and system operations director Brian Olney, administrative services director Jennifer Bryant and engineering director Jim Tomasulo.

Why Helix is going electric

Why Helix is going electric

Energy – primarily to pump water throughout our distribution system, which serves 275,000 people in El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and other unincorporated areas of the county – cost Helix Water District $2.2 million this past fiscal year.  Controlling our energy costs, and their impact on water rates, is a priority.

Helix maintains operations and design standards that reduce our energy demand during peak periods when SDG&E’s charges are higher, and we purchase energy through the State of California’s Direct Access Program, saving an average of 18 percent on commodity costs. We continually evaluate opportunities to replace aging infrastructure with energy efficient solutions, and smart building systems at each of the district’s facilities and a solar energy system at our operations center further reduce energy demands and costs.

Installing electric vehicle charging stations at our operations center and administration office is our latest cost control initiative. We received rebates of $5,500 from the State of California on each of the six Priuses we purchased over the last two years. They average over 75 miles per gallon and the district expects to save an additional $1,000 per vehicle per year in avoided fuel costs. Integrating electric vehicles into our vehicle fleet will accelerate when hybrid light-duty trucks become available.

But controlling costs isn’t our only motivation for going electric. Helix’s board of directors also wants this district to be part of the solution – to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the sustainability of the communities we serve and the sustainability of California’s water resources.

The State of California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, released on August 27, projects average temperature increases of 2.5 degrees statewide by 2040 and up to 5.8 degrees by 2070, resulting in a smaller Sierra snowpack and increased agricultural and urban water demands.

Fortunately, purchasing an electrical vehicle does not require choosing between sustainability and your bank account. Individual consumers are eligible for federal tax credits and rebates from the State of California, just like Helix. California’s Drive Clean Program provides a chart showing the tax credit and rebate available per make and model of electric vehicle.

The federal tax credit for battery powered electric vehicles is $7,500 and ranges between $3,000 and $6,000 for hybrids. California’s rebates are $2,500 for a battery powered electric vehicle and $1,500 for a hybrid. Add to this savings your annual savings on fuel, and a very important benefit exclusive to electric vehicle drivers: you can use the carpool (HOV) lane with nobody else in your car.

In a survey of electric vehicle owners by the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, 74 percent of owners said the state’s rebate was extremely or very important in making it possible to purchase their electric vehicle. The survey also identified the owners’ top three reasons for their purchase: saving money on fuel costs, reducing environmental impacts and HOV lane access.

Here is a list of electric vehicles that qualify for rebates.

Here is information on the special rates SDG&E offers electric vehicle owners.

If your interest in electric vehicles is growing, register for San Diego Electric Vehicle Day Ride and Drive, on Saturday, September 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Liberty Station. Last year, this was the largest ride and drive event in the country. Saturday’s event will feature exhibitors, electric bicycles and the Kids Activity Tent, and offers the opportunity to test drive 40 of the latest models of hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles from Honda, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mitsubishi, Kia, Chevrolet, Mercedes, Audi, Tesla and Arcimoto, which manufactures a three-wheel fun utility vehicle (FUV).

To reserve a test drive, fill out SDG&E’s short form. According to SDG&E, people will be able to drive several electric cars within the one-hour period following your check-in time. An email will be sent to registered drivers confirming their drive time window. As a bonus, registered drivers will receive a copy of the Electric Car Insider EV Buyers Guide, a high quality, 64-page, four-color print magazine about electric vehicles. (cont.)

The San Diego Electric Vehicle Day Ride and Drive event is free, but registration is required.

Learn More and Register at sdge.com/electric-vehicle-day-2018

Helix celebrating new electric vehicle charging stations

Helix celebrating new electric vehicle charging stations

This Wednesday, September 12, Helix, SDG&E and the cities of El Cajon and La Mesa will get together to celebrate Helix’s new electric vehicle charging stations, in conjunction with National Drive Electric Week and Electric Vehicle Day on September 15.

Helix installed 10 electric vehicle charging stations at the district’s operations center in El Cajon and another 10 at its administration office in La Mesa through SDG&E’s Power Your Drive program, which funded the equipment and installation.

This is the district’s latest step in controlling energy costs. Over the past two years, the district purchased six hybrid electric vehicles and received rebates of $5,500 per vehicle from the State of California. The Toyota Priuses average over 75 miles per gallon and the district expects to save $1,000 per vehicle per year in avoided fuel costs. Integrating electric vehicles into Helix’s vehicle fleet will accelerate when hybrid light-duty trucks become available. The district replaces up to three light-duty trucks per year.

The Power Your Drive program is for companies and their employees, and apartment and condominium complexes and their residents, and is part of SDG&E’s commitment to comply with Governor Brown’s goal of having 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2025. SDG&E has installed more than 900 electric vehicle charging nozzles to date. The utility’s goal is to install 3,000 nozzles at about 300 sites throughout San Diego County.

National Drive Electric Week, September 8-15, seeks to raise awareness and peak interest in hybrids and electric vehicles across the U.S. The week concludes in San Diego County with the San Diego Electric Vehicle Day Ride and Drive, on Saturday, September 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Liberty Station. Last year, this was the largest ride and drive event in the country.

Saturday’s event will feature exhibitors, electric bicycles and the Kids Activity Tent, and offers the opportunity to test drive 40 of the latest models of hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles from Honda, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mitsubishi, Kia, Chevrolet, Mercedes, Audi, Tesla and Arcimoto, which manufactures a three-wheel fun utility vehicle (FUV).

Sign Up for a Test Drive

To reserve a test drive, fill out SDG&E’s short form. You’ll be able to drive several electric cars within the one-hour period following your check-in time. An email will be sent to you confirming your drive time window. As a bonus, registered drivers will receive a copy of the Electric Car Insider EV Buyers Guide, a high quality, 64-page, four-color print magazine about electric vehicles.

Learn More and Register for the Event

The San Diego Electric Vehicle Day Ride and Drive event is free, but registration is required.

Learn More and Register at sdge.com/electric-vehicle-day-2018

What to plant this winter — Lavender

What to plant this winter — Lavender

Lavender looks beautiful, smells beautiful and loves hot sun and dry soil — it’s the perfect, drought-tolerant plant for San Diego landscapes. In fact, if it doesn’t look good, you’re probably overwatering it.

This articles, from Garden Design Magazine, explains the different types and varieties of lavender, design ideas, using it in your kitchen, and how to plant it, water it and prune it.

Read The Fundamentals of Growing Gorgeous Lavender

Helix hosting WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series

Helix hosting WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series

The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series is the most comprehensive training we have for homeowners who want to transform lawn (or dead lawn) into something beautiful and water efficient. Helix is hosting the four class series at our operations center in El Cajon on  October 20 and 27 and November 3 and 10.

The Four Classes


Class 1: Let’s Get Started!

This class is designed to help you understand the factors needed to create a beautiful and climate appropriate replacement to traditional turf. You will learn the watershed approach to landscaping. This class walks you through the important tasks of analyzing your site, assessing your soil and consideration for how much water you ultimately want to conserve in your newly landscaped area.

Class 2: Shape Your Space

The new landscape you envision should support the way you intend to use the space. Imagine creating an extension of your home with consideration for the basic architecture of the house. What type of room would you add? In our Mediterranean climate, you can add an exterior room that may accomplish the same goal. At the end of the day, if a space doesn’t function well for the people who use it, it won’t be successful.

Class 3: Make It Happen!

This class explains how you will be able to retrofit to an efficient water-saving irrigation system by becoming familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of various irrigation controllers, rotary sprinklers, pop-up spray head sprinklers, sprinkler nozzles, irrigation valves, and drip irrigation types. Proper maintenance and effective watering schedules are also covered.

Class 4: Design Coaching

In this session, you’ll be meeting with your Design Coach to finalize your LID, planting, and irrigation plans. If you’re still unsure of what you want to do, don’t worry. Our Design Coaches will work with you to develop the plan you need. Your coaching session will be by appointment.

Eligibility to Participate

To apply for, and participate in, the series, you must be a homeowner who:

  • identify an existing turf area for removal (brown or dead turf that is evident in a recent, original photograph is acceptable)
  • have an in-ground, working irrigation system (sprinkler heads, irrigation valves or controllers shown in a recent, original photograph are acceptable)
  • commit to attending all four classes in the series
  • apply online and be approved for enrollment

 

Support The Garden: eat at Rubio’s on Sept 7

Support The Garden: eat at Rubio’s on Sept 7

Don’t miss the Water Conservation Garden’s upcoming fundraiser — eat at Rubio’s on Friday evening, September 7, and 20 percent of your purchase will be donated to The Garden!

WHEN
Friday, September 7, 4-8 p.m.

WHERE
Rubio’s at 2959 Jamacha Road in Rancho San Diego

HOW
Download, print and present this flyer: Rubios Sept 7 Fundraising Flyer
There are two flyers per page — share one with a friend!

 

How to help stressed plants survive summer

How to help stressed plants survive summer

Plants and trees need one thing to survive the summer heat: water.

This easy reading article, written by landscape designer and certified nursery professional Jan Nelson, explains what happens to plants and trees when it’s too hot outside, and exactly how much water they need. Nelson also provides a list of California native plants and other drought-tolerant plants your plants that can handle the heat — plants you may want to add to your landscape this fall.

Read this article from the Press Banner 

12 plants that can protect a home from wildfire

12 plants that can protect a home from wildfire

From Houzz.com —
What plants you choose, where you plant them and how you maintain them can help minimize risk as part of a larger fire-safety strategy for your home and landscape. While there’s no entirely fireproof plant, plants with a high water content that are slow to ignite can help slow the spread of fire through a landscape.

Read the story on Houzz.com

Photo: Senecio (Houzz.com)