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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
“California Contemporary” best describes this meandering 13-year-old 40,000 sq. ft. canyon landscape with distinct microclimates, challenging bedrock, varying degrees of sunlight, and proximity to wild land (and hungry deer). Native plants stabilize slopes, attract wildlife, frame views, and add color and texture year round—with especially dramatic spring floral displays from mature ceanothus, matilija poppy, toyon and fremontodendron. Of note: an eclectic display of garden art made entirely of recycled or reclaimed materials. Design: FormLA Landscaping.
A steep drive leads to a two-year-old 2,000 sq. ft. front yard of sage, buckwheat, penstemon and other drought-tolerant natives that provide color, support wildlife and tolerate heavy soil. Enhancing the scene is a very old coast live oak that elegantly overhangs the driveway. Drip irrigation and a weather-smart controller complement green elements of the home. Design: Nancy Cipes and Margaret Oakley Otto of Oakley Gardens
This two-year-old, 4,500 sq. ft. coastal garden is child- and dog-friendly and designed for outdoor living. Colorful, fragrant natives and other Mediterranean-climate plants draw birds and insects, especially butterflies. Challenging soils drove plant selection. All areas employ drip irrigation with smart controllers. Design: Fleur Nooyen and Associates
This inspiring, small-space patio garden proves that it is possible for apartment dwellers to go native. An attractive medley of colorful pots, water features and vines for butterfly host plants bring native flowers and wildlife to a suburban Santa Monica patio located 2 miles from the Ocean. Owner-built benches and small tables from reclaimed lumber enhance the scale of this small piece of paradise.
A yarrow parkway and front lawn lead to a meticulously restored century-old home. The young, 3,900 sq. ft. landscape features native plants that provide a wildlife sanctuary, a Monarch butterfly waystation, an outdoor gathering space for poetry readings, edible plants, a small biological pond, permeable paving and recycled hardscape materials. Watered with subsurface irrigation, and using rain barrels and infiltration pits to control run-off, this is a garden of the future. Design: FormLA Landscaping
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.
This small all-native front yard makes a big impact in the neighborhood! Planted in 2011, this garden attractively fits several sustainable features into 600 sq. ft. of space, including a dry streambed, rain chains that direct runoff into an underground collection site, and permeable hardscape. Native grasses, California fuschia, and a handsome palo verde enhance this refreshingly designed space. Design: Land Matters
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.