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With vast sheets of fresh snow still blanketing a good portion of the country, a yard full of lush green grass would be a sight for sore eyes. Unless that yard happens to be in Los Angeles. Caught in the midst of a four-year mega drought, residents have begun replacing their verdure yards with gravel and sustainable plant life, according to The Los Angeles Daily News.

Since water rationing has become a staple of Southern California, people are looking for new and unique ways to cut back without turning their yard into a burnt, yellow plot. Now that Los Angeles has begun offering a rebate for residents who remove the turf in their yard, a variety of services have popped up to take advantage of the rebate. For the first 1,500 square feet, the city will pay $3.75, which gets cut to $2 above 1,500 square feet. Using this rebate, companies have started transforming yards all across the city.

Rocking out
The process of replacing grass with inanimate choices - oftentimes referred to as hardscaping - helps eliminate the need to constantly water the yard, which in some areas of the country comes at a high premium. Not only does laying down gravel and rock reduce water usage, but it is also more durable and, best of all, requires less maintenance. One drawback to this technique, especially in places with higher temperatures, is that rocks hold more heat. This can become an annoyance for people who want to spend time in the yard, but the savings in water bills should help to balance that out.

With water rationing likely to lead to higher demand and rising costs, homeowners are sure to find their grass drying out. This leaves yards much more susceptible to fires, especially in well-trafficked areas. Turning your yard into a rock garden greatly reduces this risk.

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