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Jed Boal ReportingMany Utahns want to remake their yards with plants that drink less water than grass but don't know quite where to start.
One Sandy couple got the start they needed with the help of their water company. Rich and Jodi Ludlow now have new landscaping that really belongs in the Salt Lake Valley.
Rich Ludlow, Homeowner: "We wanted to do our part to help conserve water."
The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District re-landscaped the Sandy yard to show Utahns what a water-wise property looks like. The Ludlows had always wanted to change the lawn, then they were selected by the Water Quest program as a model.
They went from a lawn full of Kentucky Blue grass to a narrow strip of grass, drought-tolerant plants, a patio with retaining walls, a dry riverbed and stone paths.
Jodi Ludlow, Homeowner: “I could tell from the picture that it was going to be gorgeous, but I had no idea it was going to be this gorgeous."
The Ludlows could cut their water bill by a third to more than half once the plants are established.
Dave Ovard, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District-General Manager: “We're trying to show people what they can do. We hope this will become the norm, that people be expected to have water conserving yards in the future."
Looking at this project you can tell it was expensive, actually more than 20-thousand dollars. But, the biggest chunk of that money went into the brick and stonework. There are plenty of things you can do with plants at a very reasonable cost.
Dave Rice, Horticulturalist: "If you do a lot of the labor yourself you can cut a lot of the cost. Or just simply taking out sections of grass at a time and replacing it with low water-use perennials or some rocks."
The Ludlows planted the plants, which will be irrigated with a combination drip and spray system and monitored by soil-moisture sensors. They say they've learned a lot in the process.
Jodi Ludlow, Homeowner: "You don't need to have all grass to have a gorgeous yard."
The Ludlows feel lucky they received the free makeover, but believe everyone can make similar changes one yard at a time.