Sharon and Fred Robinson pose with the answer to all of Fred’s dreams: the Yard of the Month Award selected by America in Bloom! That lawn won’t be outside their View Drive home for long as they change to a water-wise landscape.

AIB Yard of the Month recognizes
Robinsons for water conservation

June 12, 2015
Santa Paula News

With California bone dry as the drought continues a local family has transformed their yard into a water saver’s haven…and garnered the prize that Fred Robinson always joked he hoped he had won when he was named Citizen of the Year.

The America in Bloom Yard of the Month was awarded to Fred and Sharon Robinson for the work they have done on their View Drive home.

Said American in Bloom President Dianne Davis, the committee “Has chosen Fred and Sharon’s yard for the most beautiful and water-wise landscape…the artistic use of rocks, gravel formations and succulents is outstanding!”

Davis noted “Large plants in pots buried in the ground with drip irrigation illustrates the use of ‘Focus Gardening’ to conserve water by putting it only where necessary.”

According to Sharon Robinson turning their landscape into a drought friendly oasis had long been a goal of Fred’s: “As soon as we knew there was a drought we started doing some things gradually,” over a period of several years.

Tall water-thirsty flowers were removed, jasmine and “Other big plants that required the water…we cleaned that out because we didn’t want to keep watering,” an effort also reflected by their household water saving efforts.

Sharon said the project was “All Fred’s ideas…he’s very talented when it comes to things like that, he’s very, very handy. I helped him with some of the rocks, held down things as he hammered but the plan, the design was all him. Those Lilly of the Niles were backbreaking to remove!”

The job is ongoing with other sections of the property targeted for work such as taking out lawns to replant with drought resistant plants and replace flowers with less thirsty bloomers than California natives.

“It’s beautiful, I’m very proud of him,” Sharon noted.

When Fred was selected Citizen of the Year a few years back he joked that he had really hoped to be recognized for Yard of the Month.

And indeed said Sharon her husband, a former Mayor, “is very, very excited,” to receive the Yard of the Month Award.

But it’s not a surprise to Sharon: “The front yard, the back, the hillside, Fred takes a lot pride in his property. He’s always been a perfectionist,” even when it comes to where the couple parks their cars.

“Fred,” said Sharon, “has baseboards in the garage…who’s ever heard of that?”

At Tuesday’s Good Morning Santa Paula meeting where the Robinsons were recognized Fred said his father had been a “natural farmer” who each year planted an edible garden.

But, “Sharon did all of the design work, the layout and choices of the rocks…”

Not so said Sharon, “I just said ‘go Fred go, good job, do you want some water?’ ”

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