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Beautiful landscaping around a home not only increases the overall value, it also acts as an advertisement. Increasing “curb appeal” in the mountains does not require an expensive investment. As a matter of fact, there are many species of plants that naturally thrive in Big Bear, CA.

About.com suggests attractive landscaping can increase your home’s value from 7% to 15%. Trends suggest perspective buyers are interested in low-maintenance yards with year-round visual interest.

Xeriscaping, landscaping that minimizes water usage by relying on native species, requires less maintenance and creates a better natural habitat.

There are seven basic principles involved:

Planning a Design

Sketch out your property, including buildings, driveway and vegetation. Decide how much maintenance you want to do and choose your plants.

Soil Analysis

Properly prepared soil will retain moisture. Plan to build and maintain a compost heap and replenish your soil’s nutrients.

Appropriate Plant Selection

Be sure to group together plants with similar soil and lighting needs.

Turf Planning

Turf will provide a play area for the yard and will help to control erosion.

Efficient Irrigation

An efficient irrigation system will help your plants to develop a strong root system. Sprinklers and drip irrigation systems are the best. Be sure to watch for run-off.


Prevent weed growth and prevent evaporation with proper mulching. Some choices include; pine bark, leaves, gravel, newspaper and fabric.


Proper planning will help you to control weeds, reduce fertilizer applications and avoid heavy pruning.

The Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power recommends using Lilacs, Wild Roses, Service Berries, Manzanita, Rose Sage or Elderberry for local shrubbery. Cactus, Sage Brush and Yellow Rabbit Bush are examples of plants that thrive in our rugged mountain conditions.

To view a variety of local plants, visit the Big Bear Lake Discovery Center. Follow the sidewalks around the center to view a variety of native plants. The Discovery Center offers nature walks on the weekends, where you can learn more about native plants.

Did you know going green can save green? Call the DWP today to inquire about the turf buy back and toilet rebate programs at (909) 866-5050 ext. 202 or email swebb@citybigbearlake.com.

 More About Landscaping Your Property;

  • California Native Plant Society – The California Native Plant Society works hard to protect California’s native plant heritage and preserve it for future generations. Our nearly 10,000 members promote native plant appreciation, research, education, and conservation through our five statewide programs and 33 regional chapters in California…
  • Xeriscaping in Big Bear – Using native and drought tolerant plants are just a couple elements of what is known as Xeriscaping. Xeri does not mean zero, it comes from the Greek term xeros meaning dry. Xeriscape landscaping simply means landscaping in a way that minimizes water use…
  • Plant Lists – The Natural Zone should only be planted with dry habitat shrubs and “reforestation” native trees. Trees should be adequetly spaced a minimum of 20’ apart trunk to trunk. Irrigation is to be conducted by hand or by bubbler only, and should be turned off permanantly once plants are established (typically 2 years)…

Native Plants

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