can this be my backyard?
If you're going to have a lawn, sub-surface drip irrigation using Netafim is an excellent way of saving water. Since you lose no water to evaporation, you use only the water you need to irrigate your lawn. Design by Aesthetic Gardens in Mountain View, CA.
ALTERNATIVE GARDEN LAWNS - CHAMOMILE LAWN - using low growing flowering variety aka Roman Chamomile your lawn will never need mowing and it releases a sweet fragrance when walked on (especially strong fragrance after rain). Another advantage of a Camomile lawn over a grass lawn is that it does not turn brown in dry weather!