Water Wise: Knights’ new yard saves water, labor


Tired of EVMWD’s restrictions on watering – and of the rabbits eating whatever little lawn was left – Carolyn Knight is one of many Canyon Lakers who has decided to turn her property into a “water-wise” area. She’s replaced the grass in her backyard with artificial turf and turned the Knight vineyard into a drought-tolerant garden.

“I was literally losing sleep over the condition of my yard,” Carolyn says, explaining that, when her husband Vick was alive, there wasn’t a weed to be found, the lawn was lush and the grapevines were thriving.

When Vick became incapacitated with Parkinsonism, however, Carolyn’s priority was caring for him, not maintaining the property. During the two and a half years of his illness, the property declined. The lawn died off and the grapevines shriveled.

Enter Canyon Lake Tree Trimming and Landscapes, whose owner David Day helped her realize her vision of a beautiful, almost maintenance-free yard.

“I was lucky enough to take advantage of the water district’s rebate program,” says Carolyn, which really helped financially. “My daughter Meri and her husband have two and a half acres at their Murrieta home and transplanted the grapevines that were still healthy.”

Where a vineyard once stood is now a large area with meandering paths and colorful plants native to California.

“I think Vick would approve,” Carolyn says. At first, she expressed concern that he would hate the idea of a “fake” lawn. However, his daughter Mary says she’s sure her dad is looking down from heaven and bragging about his putting green.


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Donna Ritchie