It takes a garden
your California natural garden.
Why Natural Gardens?
People often think that our yards don’t matter, but our yards matter more than we can imagine. Even one small yard in the city can provide space and resources for the wildlife around it, a stop-over site for migratory birds and monarch butterflies, and highlight the incredible things our native landscapes have to offer. In doing so, the yard is no longer just a yard. It’s a magical garden, teeming with life, where birds raise their young, water and carbon is stored, where you can escape from a noisy concrete-centric city. But where to begin? My step by step guidance takes the mystery out of transforming the common urban landscape into a true California paradise.
Let's Make Natural Yards The New Normal!
If a tree dies in your yard and no one is around to make it fall, does it make a sound? Yes! The sound of chicks peeping, birds singing, animals scurrying.
Most people know exactly what a snag is, even if they don’t know it by that name. A snag is simply a standing dead or partially-dead tree. While some people may view them as hazardous or untidy, snags are actually quite important to wildlife. Many animals make their homes in or on snags, including birds, bats, small mammals, snakes, and invertebrates. Snags are extremely important structural elements for wildlife, and may make up the entire habitat of some creatures, like insects. They quickly become favored nesting spots for birds, preferred perches for raptors. There is always something happening at the snags
Angelenos lead the nation in the creativity and diversity of our architecture, our fashion, our tech.
So, why do we continue to have fine lawns and groomed shrubbery spaced unnaturally far apart in a desperate attempt to look like one another? To look like suburban Ohio? We can do better!
There are additional negative consequences that come with a city full of exotic plants already laced with pesticides from the big box stores.
I encourage homeowners to loosen up their landscape. Be less worried about neat and tidy, and embrace our native plants. Let go of the tidy exotic garden a little bit and the butterflies and birds will come!
There are few plants more visually arresting in a shady garden when grouped together than California native coral bells. I find this aesthetic an optimally compelling complement to natural and classic landscapes.
Coral bells produce delightful blooms that brighten up any shady area. The blooms featured here are a favorite food source for hummingbirds and the foliage stays green year round.
Not Yet Ready To Rip Out Your Lawn
and Kick the toxic Mow & Blow Habit?
We’re all at different stages in our lives but these practical solutions can improve the health of your property and our city without spending a dime or expending an ounce of energy.
- Stop pruning your plants like Edward Scissorhands.
- Mow your lawn once a month instead of once a week and leave the grass cuttings on the lawn.
- Stop pulling and spraying these beneficial weeds in your lawn: clover, alfalfa, dandelions, oxalis, chickweed.
- Stop with the crazy blowing of leaves from under your trees and shrubs.
- Stop buying the poisoned non-native plants sold at the big box stores and nursery chains.
- Check out the City’s turf rebate program at LADWP.com and if you’re going to hire a gardener or landscape designer, hire an ecological landscape professional instead.