3249 Colby Avenue

This garden will have a demo on low flow sprinklers and information on the turf removal program - this is a great stop if you are starting to convert your own lawn! They will be recycling the free drip irrigation starter kit provided to them by the So Cal Water Smart Residential Turf Removal Program via a free raffle. Winner's name will be selected and called for pick up same day.

Additionally, an assorted basket containing Sungold tomato plant and herbs will be part of the free raffle, courtesy of Merrihew's Sunset Gardens. This winner will additionally win 10% off their first purchase at Merrihews.

They will also have 4 rolling, self-watering, tomato containers in place on their driveway by tour day. They grow four Sungolds and supply the neighbors and also use them to welcome new neighbors to the neighborhood. Last year 4 families received them and were thrilled! The driveway is their only and maximum sun area for the entire garden. They roll them around to capture the rays. Anything for Sungolds!

Attendance at the Ocean Friendly Gardens Workshop June 2009 inspired this homeowner to evaluate the water waste from downspouts and ineffectual parkway sprinkler system and think of ways that they could make positive adjustments. This led to reconsidering what other 'low lying fruits' they could pick and they made plans to remove the 50+ year old lawn. With the help of garden designer Judy M Horton, who had previously refreshed their back garden, the space was transformed from a non-inspiring battered lawn to a serene haven for birds and butterflies, neighbors and owners. Monarch butterflies were on the yellow yarrow the same day as planted. The birds were bathing on day #2. The squirrels sat and watched the crew install and drive them crazy on a daily basis!

The plant palate is combo of low to medium water need plants from Mediterranean and Australian growing area. Herbs are interspersed around a bubbly bird bath fountain. Non-planted space is covered in Del Rio gravel. Irrigation is drip. The design was incorporated into pre-existing materials that dictated a particular design sense and personal preference.

The front downspouts are directed into gravel areas. One is into a small rock filled basin, to encourage better drainage into the area; the other has a flexible perforated hose attachment, directed into the tree drip line area. The rain barrel is in the back garden but will not be on the tour.

Plants needed to be low maintenance, low to moderate water need, able to tolerate lots of Jacaranda tree droppings and provide year round visual interest. The garden was transformed within the 120 days allowed on the Turf Removal Program, completed mid Nov, 2009. Thanks to advice from Marilee Kuhlman of G3LA, they used Biodegradable paper mulch and thanks to Surfrider Foundation Ocean Friendly Gardens, they learned about compost tea and application.

Bob Galbraith consulted, thanks to a referral by Marilee Khulman and a drip irrigation system was installed by their garden crew. They water as needed and use a soil probe and garden experience to determine if and when watering is required. After established, the sun areas, during the summer may need once a week, the shade areas less. In winter, who knows yet?

It’s too soon to know what the water reduction will be. New gardens don't necessarily reduce water consumption right away; even water wise ones like this. All mature periphery materials have been watered by Mother Nature only for the last 20 years. It was all initially planted with drip irrigation 30 years ago. We were frugal lawn waterers to begin with. We do know that the water will be more effectively directed towards plantings and replenishing the ground water and NOT running down the street.