Some 20 neighborhood gardens showed off their native plants and colorful butterflies at the premiere Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council Sustainable Garden Tour on June 26.
While some of the landscapes were professionally designed, many of the residents put on their own gloves, sought help from their gardeners and spent funds from the city’s rebate program.
The homeowners “really did educate themselves,” said Julie Stromberg, chair of the GWNC Sustainability Committee.
Bocce ball court
The city’s turf-removal rebate guidelines allowed for a portion of the ground surface to be “hardscaped with a permeable surface” for a bocce ball court in Julie Grist’s S. Windsor front yard.
She worked with landscape designer Sloan Foxe Ashley of Wormwood Designs. “Our aim was to attract birds, bees and butterflies, with a special focus on providing nectar and pollen-rich plants for butterflies,” Grist said.
California natives included were: ceanothus (wild lilac), echinacea (coneflower), pelargonium (geranium), catmint, rock purslane and coyote mint.
A low-water-use decorative fountain further attracts both birds and butterflies.
A North Plymouth resident also received lawn removal rebate funds, and she took free classes through the Dept. of Water and Power Water-Wise program and at the Theodore Payne Foundation, where she attended Four Seasons of Color and California Native Plant Garden Design courses.
In just five months, the resident described her “green journey” as already visibly rewarding, an “aromatic garden with primary colors of red and yellow…”
She replaced a sloping lawn with native plants, mulch and rock, retaining other plants that had proven drought tolerant, and she changed an old spray sprinkler system to a drip irrigation and weather-based one. She opted to keep grass on the parkway “for the many dog walkers — and so passengers can get out of their cars.”
Drip irrigation and a plant palette drawing from South Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean and California natives were popular among many gardens, said tour co-chair Cathy Roberts.
The event drew a good response and is already planned to return next year.
“We wanted to offer inspiration to people for their gardens in light of the fact that the drought is probably the new normal,” Roberts said.
The tour began at Harold A. Henry Park in Windsor Village, which was recently renovated with cactus and native flora.
During the tour, the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants, of Sun Valley, had representatives at the park as part of its increased outreach efforts.
Tour participants were from throughout the Greater Wilshire area, including: from Fremont Place: Sue Ellen Waters; from La Brea-Hancock: Suzan Fellman, Citrus Ave., and Diana Eisele, Citrus Ave.; from Windsor Village: Julie Grist and Paul Holahan, Windsor Blvd., Jill and John Bauman, Windsor Blvd., Carla & Tony Palermo, Windsor Blvd., Holly Holyk, Victoria Ave., and Julie Burleigh and Catherine Opie, Victoria Ave.; and, from Larchmont Village: Rebecca & Charlie Hutchinson, Bronson Ave., the Johnson-Bedikian Residence, Bronson Ave., and a residence in the 600 north block of Plymouth Blvd.
Category: Real Estate