3512 Butler Avenue

The homeowners brought in landscape designer Lauri Burrier to replace their small, monochromatic front lawn with a range of water-wise plants that provide flowers and seasonal color. Finding plants that meet that description and that thrive in clay soil is one of the big landscaping challenges for Southern Californians.

Before landscaping
Another fun challenge with their front yard was to transform a small area dominated by straight lines – sidewalk, front walk and driveway – into an area that celebrates organic shapes and provides a more boundless use and sense of space. Medium sized boulders were chosen to anchor in nature’s shapes with their inherent volume and provide new focal points to design around. This also worked to shift the prominence of the borders into the background.

The addition of a simple board fence in keeping with the mid-century modern style of the house lent the previously exposed yard a sense of privacy or shelter as well as a visual invitation to see what’s growing on the other side. The Acacia stenophylla tree brings in another element of height and volume while adding to the sheltering nature of the new fence. This good-sized tree, also known as the Shoestring Acacia, doesn’t crowd the space thanks to its airy tendrils and arching growth habit.

The number of hummingbirds has increased dramatically, drawn by the many new plants including the Cuphea ‘David Verity,’ Anigozanthos or Kangaroo Paws and the Penstemon, which are the perfect offering. 

The homeowners love color and design in their garden and now greatly appreciates the new use of space in the front garden. Their water usage has decreased 25% since making the change to just the front section of their landscape.