This is a very special home on a very social block. Kids and their parents spend many hours outside playing, chatting and keeping up with what is happening in their corner of Mar Vista. The homeowners’ goal was to improve the curb appeal of the home, making the front yard as usable as the back by creating an inviting place to sit and watch the world go by.
The slope in the front was a challenge. They wanted a design that would welcome people in rather than close the property off at the sidewalk. The decomposed granite area at the top of the wall will host a sitting area and, with the two large trees, there will be ample shade. A lovely stairway has replaced the broken driveway and lawn area as the main access to the front door. The steps provide a convenient spot to sit and chat.
They were committed to saving water and using native plants that only required drip irrigation. In fact, the design qualified for the Turf Removal Rebate Program. The new front yard is irrigated by drip line twice a week. The plants that were chosen offer a variety of texture and visual interest. A rain barrel in the back helps tremendously with a previous runoff problem. The guava tree will provides with a bit of privacy between the street and our large front window.
A few well-established plants in the back that were original to the house when we bought it in 2003 (hibiscus, holly, orange tree, camellia tree) draw in many small birds, bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. Also noteworthy, the wall in the front and north steps were built with recycled broken concrete. A composter in back completes this environmentally sensitive oasis.