2561 Barry Avenue

Outdoor living space surrounded by a sustainable garden! 

This sustainable, water-wise garden wraps around the house providing outdoor spaces for lounging, dining and entertaining. Designed by Ania Lejman of ALD Landscape Design/Build and completed in early 2010, it replaced turf with permeable paving of decomposed granite, gravel and Santa Barbara area stone. The garden maximizes outdoor living while minimizing maintenance and upkeep. Barbeques with friends, bird and insect activity, and encounters with friendly neighbors have all increased since completion of the garden makeover. See before shots in this wonderful profile by Lisa Boone in the LA Times Pro Portfolio.

The low-lying front landscape is a mix of drought tolerant native plants and succulents. Small trees retained from the original garden—including a Southwestern native acacia that is home to hummingbirds and finches—provide a canopy of shade. A low stucco wall topped by a wood trellis separates the yard from the street, providing a sense of privacy while still permitting the owner to meet and greet neighbors while lounging on the front patio.  The owner has met more neighbors in the past year than in the 15 years before the garden makeover.

A walkway of flagstone and decomposed granite—lined with a sweep of steely-blue Leymus grass and rosemary and anchored with dwarf citrus trees—leads to the backyard.  Herbs grow in built in planters conveniently located next to the kitchen door.

In a corner of the backyard, low-voltage lighting highlights the beautiful structure of a 100-year old prolifically fruiting avocado tree. Permeable gravel surrounds the tree. A generously sized corner built-in seating area with a gas-fed cast iron fire bowl make this a cozy space top lounge after an outdoor dinner with friends.

A low-emitter drip system, run once weekly, irrigates the garden. The landscape designer will be available to answer questions during the Tour. Visitors can also see the solar panels and tankless water heater.