3508 Butler Avenue

Come sit on the porch…and learn the benefits of getting rid of the lawn

These owners wanted a front porch where they could relax with the kids and visit with friends. They also wanted to get rid of the front yard lawn, replacing it with a garden that reduced their water usage but was still interesting, with plenty of color to attract wildlife.

In fall of 2010, they asked Heather Trilling (Trilling Landscape Design) to come up with a family friendly, water wise design. They replaced the old lawn with a drought resistant garden and Del Rio washed gravel path, installed a low stucco sitting wall and landscape lighting, and resurfaced the porch with flagstone.

The low maintenance garden combines California-friendly plants with small boulders for playing or sitting. Trilling used succulent plants such echeverias, aeoniums, agave, and protea, along with phormiums, lavenders, and echium (Pride of Madeira) to create an inviting and colorful garden for this family. There is year round color and blooms with lots of textures. The garden attracts birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds for all to enjoy.

The owners don't miss the lawn at all! The garden encourages them to be in the front yard more and they enjoy visiting with neighbors in the garden. There are so many interesting places for the kids to explore! The small stucco sitting wall doubles as a balancing beam for the kids to climb on and they love playing around the small boulders.

Bark mulch and individual emitters for each plant reduce weeding and water use. Water-wise-targeted drippers, located at each root, water for 20 minutes once a week. Little to no irrigation is needed in winter.

This is a blower, fertilizer and pesticide free zone. Weeding and trimming is done by hand. No lawn means less garden waste and cuttings end up in the compost bin.