Local plant species and hardscape materials enhance this extensive, owner-designed twelve-year-old landscape – an outstanding example of a high-elevation garden. “A house and its gardens should look like they have always been there,” says its owner. Flowering shrubs, maturing trees, wildflowers and bulbs provide color, fragrance and habitat for wildlife. The landscape includes a small vineyard, as well as a wind-turbine that generates most of the residents’ power.
Renovation directed by Theodore Payne’s very own Lisa Novick with original garden design by Katherine Spitz. Installed by police officers, interns and community members, this 30,000 sq. ft. garden demonstrates native plants that thrive with minimal irrigation in the extreme heat and sun of the west valley, as well as in heavy clay soil. Design: The Theodore Payne Foundation
This woodland garden has evolved over more than two decades thanks to the passion and dedication of the homeowners. Several stunning mature native plants, a dry streambed, permeable hardscaping and a drainage design that captures and delivers rain water to native sycamores are just some of the unique features of this property. An eclectic back yard integrates natives and useful edibles in a harmonious, permaculture-style garden.
They killed their lawn! This two-year-old, owner-designed, 1250 sq. ft. front yard is now a thriving wildlife habitat and gathering place for family and entertaining—and a showcase for colorful, fragrant native flora, water conservation, and energy and waste reduction.
A carefully chosen plant palette (including uncommon Rhus lentii and Quercus tomentella, and rare and endangered Mahonia nevinii) enhances this front and back garden first planted in the late 1990s. Low maintenance and wildlife habitat were major goals; both were achieved. The style is “relaxed.” Total garden space: approx. 8,000 sq. ft. Design: Rick Fisher, Toyon Design, Landscape Architecture and the owners.
The owners used a predominantly native plant palette to restore the large, rambling terraced landscape of a 1948 Mid-Century Modern house designed by Lloyd Wright Jr. (son of Frank Lloyd Wright). The garden, begun in 2004, includes areas of sun and shade, and transitions from formal placement near the house to a naturalistic setting in the lower yard. An energy- and water-guzzling swimming pool was replaced by a formal garden, designed by Dryden Helgoe Landscape Design, featuring California native trees and succulents surrounding a reflecting pool.
This large maturing landscape offers varied spaces and mass plantings, including a sun-baked street-side garden, woodland flora beneath massive trees, riparian plants along a running stream and chaparral natives surrounding a stone “council circle.” Altogether, a verdant sanctuary for both people and wildlife with a sense of elegant, wild beauty. Design: Terra Design
This long, narrow eight-year-old garden is semi-formal in style, with winding path, gabion wall, and rammed-earth bench nestled below a century-old coast live oak. Watch for spring wildflowers, a dudleya-studded cliff, many rare plants from California and Baja, and an art installation, “The History of the West.” Garden size: approx. 6,000 sq. ft. Design: Scrub Jay Studios
Planted in 2007, this 2000 sq. ft. modern garden has an inviting native front yard with creatively re-used elements of the home’s original hardscape, including a designer-built metal fence. The backyard integrates edibles and natives, and features a children’s play area with a slide that lands onto a soft yarrow lawn.
This small predominantly native landscape is eight years old and evolving. Front, side and back plantings totaling less than 2,000 sq. ft. display easy-to-grow shrubs, sages and spring wildflowers that attract hummingbirds and provide shelter and seed for other birds. The owner is partial to purple and orange flowers. Design assistance: Laura Bauer
The front yard of this eight-year-old, owner-designed 1/3-acre “eclectic green space” includes drought-tolerant native and non-native plants, a dry stream bed beneath an old incense cedar, and a low-care parking strip. Behind the classic Bungalow-style home, featured in American Bungalow magazine, natives are paired with succulents and also used to attract pollinators to herbs, vegetables and mature fruit trees. Recipient of Pasadena Beautiful’s Golden Arrow Award and featured in Fall 2012 American Bungalow magazine.
This English cottage-style front, parking strip and side garden was planted in 2010 and totals less than 2,000 sq. ft. Notable features include a dry stream bed that diverts and absorbs runoff, flagstone patio with birdbath, and a 100% native plant palette selected for insect habitat and waves of seasonal color. Design assistance: Greg Rubin, California’s Own Native Landscape Design.
This demonstration garden, installed through a grant from the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, is largely south-facing, with a variety of natives that thrive under the canopy of mature sycamore trees. Issues of maintaining visibility along the front of the school, and using the garden for classroom lessons, drove many of the plant choices. Other garden features include a dry streambed and the use of local boulders from the San Gabriel River flood plain. Orange trees were added to reflect the historic nature of the campus. Design: Environs Landscape Architects with assistance from The Theodore Payne Foundation. Additional Design/Project Support from: Amy Whist Garden Design ; Karen Walker Chamberlin; Shirley Barrett; Skanska and Marina Landscape.
This foothill landscape showcases unusual plants from the San Gabriel Mts. and local wilderness. The steep, narrow 4,000 sq. ft. garden, begun early 2011, includes terraces of local stone, rock water features, permeable paving, drains and swales, and formal and woodland plantings. Design: Orchid Black, Native Sanctuary
The style of this four-year-old 10,000 sq. ft. garden is natural, with desert and Channel Islands flora in front and oak woodland plants in back. The owners wanted privacy and year-round fragrance, color and interest. The nearly 100% native palette includes many hard-to-find species and cultivars. Percolation beds, infiltration pits and a rill direct and retain water. Well-placed boulders protect the corner property from speeding cars. Design: Scrub Jay Studios.
Started in 2005, the plants selected for this cottage-style garden with elegant woodland elements provide a certified wildlife and bird habitat, as well as beautiful and serene private spaces for human inhabitants to retreat from street noise. Located on a former lakebed, this garden features plants that tolerate heavy clay soil and features an enchanting outdoor garden room, permeable paving materials, as well as a kitchen and cutting garden. Design: Terra Design
This half-acre property has been transforming over the past five years with the addition of mass native plantings that create a “wild” woodland garden that attracts native insects, birds, butterflies. In addition to a large heritage oak, the garden also features creative recycled hardscape elements. Owner designed.
This owner-designed, 6250 sq. ft. garden was started in 1999 and uses no supplemental water. The cottage/woodland-style front plantings include manzanita, sage and oak. The more formally designed backyard mixes natives with other Mediterranean-climate plants. Both spaces were created for fragrance, wildlife value, water conservation, energy reduction, privacy and easy maintenance.
The clean, uncomplicated aesthetic of this owner-designed garden features a massing of fairy dusters and native bunch grasses in the front yard. The back includes terraces, multiple small-space vignettes, and child-friendly raised vegetable beds. Homeowners started this native garden in 2008 to minimize water use and support local wildlife. In 2012 they brought more natives to the neighborhood by spear-heading the community native garden located across the street at the Silver Lake Meadow, which is well worth a peek!
Perched atop a sandstone hillside, this 5,000 sq. ft. predominantly native landscape began its transformation four years ago. Plants were selected to create more habitat for the wildlife that inhabit an adjacent undisturbed hillside and to provide year-round color and fragrance for the homeowner. A majestic 200 year-old oak tree, permeable hardscape, elegant water features, meandering pathways and peaceful seating areas are some of the additional treasures on this distinctive property. Design: Fleur Nooyen and Associates LLC
A wooden fence artfully peppered with stained glass windows frames this eclectic front yard, created from scratch four years ago by the homeowner. Native plants were selected to invite wildlife, conserve water, and provide seasonal interest. Local materials resourcefully used include a large mound built from soil excavated during house construction and garden boulders rescued from excavation. Carefully placed fallen tree branches and mulched pathways contribute to the organic feel of this garden.
A spectacular curbside wildflower display draws passersby toward this garden. Started in 2000, the owner has achieved a balance of perennial favorites and seasonal blooms to create a casual, vibrant landscape that includes ceanothus, buckwheat, sage, matilija poppy and more, all requiring little supplemental water.
Over half of this 2,000 sq. ft. zen landscape is native. First planted in 1999, the goals were to create a certified wildlife habitat, reduce irrigation, and create outdoor living spaces for quiet contemplation. Features include a pond, Santa Cruz Island ironwood, and 20-foot-tall valley oak lovingly nurtured from seed.
This child-friendly landscape (installed 2010 and totaling 5,000 sq. ft.) includes a bit of everything: a small water feature, fire pit, kitchen garden and native plants that conserve water and feed native birds, as well as butterflies and other insects. The style is “native contemporary.” Design: Kathleen Ferguson Landscapes.
A front and back garden surrounding a historic Craftsman-style home! This maturing landscape was started in 2008. The style for is “California Apocalyptica,” fusing native flora (some quite rare) and recycled materials with recycled tools and other implements as sculpture. A vast plant palette and gurgling fish pond attract birds and insects all year. Owner designed.
The abundant cottage-style 1,100 sq. ft. garden in front of this historic Craftsman-style home was planted March 2011. Achieved goals include water conservation (the lawn is gone!), runoff reduction, birds and butterflies (including monarchs), fragrance and year-round color in both shady and sunny locations. Design assistance: Nick Dean.
Carefully designed on a tight budget as part of the homeowners’ low-impact lifestyle, native plants were selected in this garden to support local birds, conserve water, and provide the sweet fragrance of California sage scrub. A small retaining wall adds dimension and diverse topography to a flat frontal city lot. 1,800 sq. ft.
The empty lot next door, purchased from the lead singer of Metallica, has been transformed into a neighborhood botanic garden! Planted in 2006, this 12,000 sq. ft. space is a true wildlife sanctuary that supports over 110 species of birds. A natural path winds through a diverse forest of manzanita, fremontia, toyon, including the unique ‘Davis Gold’ cultivar, and much more. The path finishes at a park-style picnic area and productive victory-style vegetable garden.