This is a hillside garden at the bottom of the Mar Vista hill. The homeowners initially removed all natural turf and replaced 8” of clay soil with a sandy soil that's more permeable, allowing water to soak in and deep water the trees and keeping runoff from entering the ocean. They replaced some of the turf with artificial grass which, at the end of at the end of its 30 year life is recyclable.
These homeowners, inspired by the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase, have rolled up their sleeves and, in the last 2 years, made great progress towards a more drought tolerant garden - with more projects to come in the next few years.
The garden is well shaded by large trees, reducing the water need for some plants that normally need a little more water. The plantings are changing each year to more drought friendly plantings like succulents and vermilliads that don’t need much water. There are also many rosemary bushes that are not only edible but act as bee pollinators.
A pergola in the front yard creates an outdoor room environment; it is designed with a small pitch which captures a large section of the water runoff from the roof as well as the gutters and then deposits that rainwater into the front garden. Using this method of tree-shade and watering with the captured rain water allows the homeowners to have a more lush-look without the water consumption normally needed.
The rain water that does not water the garden winds up in a stream that starts under the pergola and runs down into a 1600 gallon rain water harvesting organic pond. The pond pump is one of the most efficient pumps on the market today and uses hardly any electricity.
The pond has some edible aquatic plantings and is a much needed ecosystem for fish, turtles, frogs, dragonflies; even the endangered grey heron stops by every few months to fish. Over the years, they've had wild ducks lay their eggs and raise a family or two. They also have a bird feeder above the pond that attracts wild finches and a feeder for humming birds. The plant and fish waste from the pond can also be used as a natural fertilizer.