Gardens that are Gardens New to Tour
A large graceful sycamore in this front yard shelters a colorful native shade garden. Planted in 2012, this 3,000 sq. ft. front and back landscape makes ample use of permeable paving to decrease urban heat and create microclimates for a mix of coastal sage scrub and woodland plant communities. The native flora provide food and shelter for butterflies and birds, minimize water use, and add color, fragrance, and seasonal interest.
Design: Carlos Flores.
Designed by the landscape architect/owner to stop runoff from reaching the ocean, this three-year-old 3,000 sq. ft. landscape is located just over three miles from the coast. An infiltration swale, carefully terraced back slope, retention basins, and permeable paving keep water on site. A front yard meadow planted with an appealing tapestry of clay-tolerant natives requires only bi-annual maintenance, creates a street noise buffer, and provides a neighborhood oasis for wildlife.
This four-year-old naturalistic front yard showcases natives that thrive in heavy clay soil. A dry stream bed winds through the repurposed broken concrete path and terminates in a pool of multi-color rock. A number of bird-attracting features are placed throughout the garden and dry branches are carefully placed for stylistic accents. Design: Ulysses Aban of UA Botanical.
This young, 4,000 sq. ft. landscape combines features of a traditional California mission- style garden with modern elements to complement a 1925 Spanish Revival-Style house.
A palette of predominately California native plants, many endemic to the Channel Islands, provides year-round interest and wildlife habitat. A permeable driveway and walkway, as well as underground infiltration pits, all capture rainwater onsite. Concrete repurposed from the former driveway provides ample garden seating and low walls for a productive kitchen garden.
Design: Oakley Gardens
Photos: Philip Otto Photography
Front and back lawns, removed without the use of chemicals, previously covered 75% of this 2500 sq. ft. landscape. Planted nearly two years ago, the front yard of is an inspirational mix of California coastal prairie and sage scrub designed to move water away from the house, allow for on site percolation, and provide wildlife habitat for native bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The backyard mixes shade-tolerant natives with other Mediterranean- climate plants, and features a lovely garden room structure.
Design: Land Matters
Eight years ago, the owners of this 6,000 sq. ft. property set out to create a garden that appeals to all the senses. A mix of several native plant communities with red, yellow, and purple blooms provide year-round habitat for birds, butterflies, bees, and small mammals. Additional elements include a re-circulating stream, curving decomposed granite pathways, dry-stacked garden walls, several areas for seating and contemplation, and edibles for people.
Over the past ten years, this homeowner has lovingly created a small, mixed native front yard that conserves water and attracts birds, butterflies, and other important pollinators. Peppered with creatively re-used items like tree trunks and Palos Verdes stone, and featuring a large (20+ ft.) native elderberry tree, this garden exemplifies a successful lawn-to-native yard conversion accomplished on a tight budget.
Starting in 2006, high school science teacher George Nanoski has created three habitat spaces—coastal sage scrub/chaparral, Mojave/Sonoran deserts, and a vernal pool—that serve as an ecological laboratory for his students. “These spaces attract wildlife, allow for observation of species interactions, and educate students, staff, and the general public about California native biodiversity,” says Nanoski. “They provide valuable lessons on the effects
of anthropogenic resource exploitation and pollution.”Watch for several rare native species from desert regions and the Channel Islands.
This two-year old cottage-style front yard of nearly 5,000 sq. ft., features an all-native mix of annuals and perennials to attract birds and butterflies and capture the essence of the southern California landscape. Reclaimed concrete was used to widen the driveway, and reclaimed brick makes for a patio and walkway. Rainwater flows off the roof and into a rocky streambed, infiltrating into a dry pond.
Design: Haynes Landscape Design
More than half of Pasadena’s only dedicated public garden is planted with California natives, the rest of the landscape features a mix of other lovely Mediterranean species. The three acre site features 37 “garden rooms” with many distinct native plant communities. Look out for vernal pools, alluvial sage scrub, bunch grasslands, several species of oaks native to Southern California, and many other rare and endangered California natives.
Design: Mayita Dinos
This two-year-old front yard successfully blends a modern and traditional aesthetic. The owner/designer wanted to replace a 2,500 sq. ft. lawn with something that was walkable, promoted habitat, and used less water and energy. A lovely and clay-tolerant carex and yarrow meadow is backed by drifts of coral bells, rush, and coffeeberry.
Started thirteen years ago, this steeply sloping 1,000 sq. ft. front yard captures the allure of the surrounding hillsides with a rustic plant palette that complements the Spanish Colonial Revival style home. A mix of chaparral and desert native plants provide essential slope stabilization, wildlife habitat, and can survive the site’s tough conditions. Owner designed.
Designed by homeowners dedicated to reducing their impact on the planet, this small, five-year-old all-native front yard uses a successful mix of clay-tolerant species to attract an abundance of wildlife. Also of note is a permeable driveway, solar-powered water feature, and vintage Chinese doors leading to an arbor covered by native grapes.
This large, cottage-style front yard showcases natives that can thrive in several different microclimates. Planted in 2011, this landscape conserves water, provides year-round color, attracts butterflies and birds, and requires little maintenance. A large porch features a lovely collection of native container plants, including several bulbs.
Homeowner designed with assistance from Eco-Landscape and FormLA.
This sloping three-year-old, 2,500 sq. ft. front yard feautures an eclectic mix of California native and edible plants watered by drip irrigation. Goals of this garden include saving water, growing edibles for the homeowners, and attracting birds and butterflies.
Design: Francesca Corra — Dirt Diva Designs.
A once weedy, neglected city lot was transformed without the use of chemicals into a bird sanctuary and neighborhood park. This narrow, 6,000 sq. ft. public garden was completed through the Studio City Beautification Association in 2012. Planted primarily with California native plants that look good year-round, this garden includes a gabion wall, numerous birdhomes, and a bird bath supplied continually with fresh water.
Design: Francesca Corra—Dirt Diva Designs.
Planted in 2011, this 3,300 sq. ft. front and side yard combines natural chaparral and woodland plantings with a dry creek bed and native grass meadow that embodies an authentic sense of place amidst the surrounding hillsides of the San Fernando Valley. The garden attracts numerous butterflies, lizards, birds, and beneficial insects. The permeable front walk and driveway were created by re-using on-site materials.
Design: Gardenscapes By Jill
Spanning two adjacent properties, these native landscapes were planted in 2009 and demonstrate a palette of clay-tolerant plants that can handle extreme San Fernando Valley sun and heat. Water conservation, neighborhood beautification, and year-round color were goals of the homeowners/designers, who water their natives by hand.