World Water Week's coming up, and water is getting increasingly precious in warm states like California — which has many people ready to replace their water-thirsty lawns with drought-resistant native gardens. After all, native gardens can reduce your water bill, attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and eliminate the need for pesticides!

Interested? Then take a free virtual tour of the 6th Annual Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour.  This virtual tour was put together for a real live tour, happening Sat. April 4 and Sun., April 5 in the Los Angeles area. Still, anyone trying to reduce water use in their lawns can get some great ideas by looking at the pictures of these 45 different home gardens that are eco-friendly, cost-effective and beautiful, too.

Most of these gardens were designed, created and maintained by the homeowners themselves. I'm guessing not all the gardens will meet with everyone's liking — but you'll likely find a few you wish were your own. My favorite is this “Casa Apocalyptica” (right), whose owners decided to make the debris found on the site a part of their native garden!

Ready to create your own native or drought-tolerant garden? The DIY network has some simple instructions that can help you get started.

Images courtesy Theodore Payne Foundation

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