It all started when these homeowners ran out of room indoors for their annual wine tasting party. They found Christie Kruse who has designed and implemented a number of CA native gardens for their friends. She came up with a plan to create an outdoor dining room in the front yard, allowing them to comfortably entertain 20 people for a sit-down dinner. Since they're food obsessed, they picked about a dozen different kinds of fruit trees for the yards, surrounded by CA native plants and herbs.
In 2009, Christie planted the gardens in the front and back, recycling most of the concrete and bricks for hardscape while taking up most of the grass. Now, they can sit in front of the house, under the growing shade, and greet passing dogs and their guardians as they take their daily walks. They savor each mouthful of produce coming from the soil at home. Bees and hummingbirds appear to be enjoying the new garden as well.
The young garden gives them new appreciation for the challenge of farming, and how benevolent and capricious nature could be.
Irrigation is a combination of soaker hoses, drip, and sprinklers targeted to the fruit trees. In the winter, they just turn off the irrigation. In the spring and fall, they water about once a week, and twice a week in the summer. The new garden has not changed their water consumption as they just did not water the lawn when there was one. Yes, the brown lawn was a blight in the neighborhood.
They compost using a bin provided by the city for $20.