This is the magic of the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase...

Both gardens were on the tour in 2009 and they met when Loree walked the tour route after the tour. She was oogling over Julie’s front yard and was invited in. Julie dug up a volunteer milkweed, not more than 2 in. high and gave it to Loree. She left it in her driveway with hundreds of other plants, and boom!  Monarchs found it in a week or so and laid eggs on it, so she had a delightful responsibility on her hands.

She purchased some more, planted more seeds and started a habitat of 100+ milkweed plants. Julie is with the Master Gardeners - they stayed in touch and Loree ‘gave back’ by donating milkweed and other plants to the MG for their giveaways at the monthly booth at the Mar Vista Farmers Market. Twice they held  Butterfly Sundays at the booth, where Loree brought monarchs, plants, and some wonderful children to provide information and enthusiasm and encourage habitats.
They’ve become wonderful friends and  organized informal neighborhood   "plant get togethers" that have  grown to a monarch "group" of  25+ who stay in touch through e-mail and caterpillar fostering (express deliveries of caterpillars and milkweed  wherever needed!). So fun.   They estimate that through the MG booth and other word of mouth activities directly as a result of the green tour probably 50+ new habitats are forming, including Beethoven Elementary.  Meet Loree at this garden on Meier to learn about what they are doing.

Who would think that in an "urban" area you could have so much fun without getting into a car? That you could meet so many interesting people who share not only common interests but have other fascinating hobbies? That you can leave kumquats on a doorstep, or say "hello" to so many recognizable faces at the Sunday Market?

Loree shared - I’ve lived here for 22 years and truly can say that as a direct result of the green tour the last 2 years have trumped the first 20 in terms of feeling we're living in a caring neighborhood with a big heart.  The tour encourages communication and helps you realize that environmentally the other creature friends and plants with whom we share earthly space don't give a hoot about where property lines begin or end, and we as humans could use more of that mindset in our habits as well.   Many of us grew  up in small towns or at least knew that feeling of sharing day to day pleasures of life, especially those of the outdoors, with others, and to find that unveiling as the result of a single community tour is truly a testament to the organizers - it's magical really what has happened.  My husband John's famous quote is, "another tour coming through, somebody's outside staring at your goose plants" 


  1. It would be fantastic if EVERY garden in 2011 tour was a monarch habitat. Then each tour garden encourage their neighbors to plant at least 2 milkweeds. Mar Vista could be ablaze with these gorgeous creatures.

    How about it everyone?

  2. I'm on the tour but don't have any milkweed. I would welcome any donated plants to start my habitat. Holly 3527 greenwood