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In 2017, the Utilities Department designed and installed drought tolerant landscape around the Administration Building at the Santa Maria Regional Landfill.

The design includes native plants and trees, maintained by a drip irrigation system. Recycled timbers and decomposed granite were laid along walk paths and decomposed granite pads.

Below is a list of drought tolerant plants and trees used to design the landscape:

Ash tree
Asiatic Lilies
Butterfly Bush
Ceanothus Bush
Crape Myrtle
Manzanita Bush
Ornamental Pear
Planted Succulents
Rainbow flax
Rock Rose



 Landscaping1  Landscaping2



Landscaping and Irrigation
As cities throughout California attempt to meet State-mandated water conservation requirements, drought-tolerant landscaping has become a popular option in Santa Maria. Joining in conservation efforts, many residents are changing their landscapes and helping to lower their water use.

Xeriscaping has become a more common option offered by many landscapers throughout the Santa Maria Valley. Xeriscaping is landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. It is promoted in regions that do not have easily accessible, plentiful, or reliable supplies of fresh water, and is gaining acceptance in other areas as access to water becomes more limited.

Another widespread option is switching from spray to sprinklers and/or drip irrigation, and even replacing turf ltogether with rocks and mulch-type alternatives, or artificial turf. 

Click to obtain more information and the City’s guide to Drought Tolerant Landscaping.

What is Smart Irrigation?
Promotes healthy and attractive landscaping by improving watering efficiency with new Smart” technologies such as meterSmart Irrigation Controllers and rotating sprinkler nozzles. Even better, use these technologies together for the most savings outdoors.

The smart sprinkler controller, is a device that gives your plants the right amount of water for the time of the year, change of climate, and weather. 

With these installed on your property, you can avoid over-watering and excessive run-off by scheduling the amount of irrigation based on the type of landscape and current weather. 

Let the weather decide when the sprinklers come on and save water.

Santa Maria Valley Sustainable Garden demo_garden
624 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria - FREE
Demonstrates resource efficient landscaping, featuring low water using plants, efficient irrigation, lawn alternatives, composting, and use of paved areas. Self-guided tours only.
Open 8:00 a.m. to sunset. For information, call (805) 568-3546


Green Gardener Program

Every year, the Utilities Department promotes the Green Gardener Program. During spring and fall semesters at Allan Hancock College, Beginning and Advanced certification courses are offered  to help educate local gardeners in resource-efficient and pollution prevention landscape maintenance practices.


The Green Gardener Program is designed to offer education, training, and promotion of participating gardeners and landscape maintenance contractors. The class is held twice per year, in both English and Spanish. The class format is 15 two-and-a-half-hour sessions, which includes classroom and field time.

After completion of the course, gardeners are issued a Green Gardener card and certificate of completion. This allows them to be placed on the Green Gardener List, which is promoted to the public. The Green Gardener card is for an individual, not a company; however, the listing will include the certified individual’s company name. The certificate is reissued annually with completion of two hours continuing education.

For more information about the Green Gardener Program, visit