11402 Matteson Avenue

They decided to build a fence and a fun safe area for their son to play. What began as a 4 day fence project turned in to a 2 month front yard overhaul that they did themselves – and a transformation that the neighborhood delighted in sharing!

They removed all of the grass from the front yard, as well as the old water wasting sprinkler system. In its place they designed concrete pads as a patio space, and planted as many drought tolerant plants as possible. They have silver carpet around the concrete pads, blue fescu, and monkey paw as the main border plants. Along the fence line they’ve planted jasmine and mandavilla vines to climb up and provide fragrance, as well as nectar for the hummingbirds and bees. They have also installed a pond and have mosquito fish in it to help control the mosquito population, and it adds a nice visual feature to the yard.

Since building the pond they have noticed that raccoons like to come and play in it and drink from it at night, and the local neighborhood cats love to watch the fish swimming. They also decided to add a raised bed vegetable and herb garden to the yard to show their son how fun and beneficial it is to grow your own food. During the summer and fall they had great success with Japanese Eggplant, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, radish, carrots, squash, green beans and lettuce. The corn plants looked fabulous but didn't provide much. They are now growing kale, spinach, broccoli, yellow onion, green onion more green beans, lettuce, eggplant, cilantro and carrots.

It's been a fantastic family project and continues to evolve as the seasons change and has become an outdoor extension of their living space, as well as helped to better connect them with their neighbors. They are pleasantly surprised to see how spending so much time working on their garden has introduced and connected them to so many of their neighbors and piqued their curiosity about what they’ve done and helped to inspire them to work on their own yards in some way.

All of the plants are on a drip system that they installed themselves. The system is set to go on twice a week for 15 minutes most of the year and we shut it off during rainy periods. They love that they can adjust the system to water as much or as little as needed. As the plants continue to become more established in the soil they will require less and less water.