3273 Granville Ave - Cluster 3

Click here for audio description of this garden.

The homeowners have taken a DIY approach to their landscape. Their pragmatic goal was to reduce as much as possible the maintenance costs and water requirements of the yard…and do so using plants and hardscape features that would provide interesting views and habitats for wildlife.   
Succulents predominate in this landscape, which features agaves, euphorbias, and aloes, with additional California natives, salvias, and other drought tolerant plants rounding out the yard. There are currently more than thirty varieties of succulents ranging from two inch sedums to six foot euphorbias. California poppies and wildflowers have been sown throughout the slope and the easements. The landscaping also includes: salvias, mallows, ceonaothus,  rosemary, lavender, valerian, tagetes, artemisia, and butterfly bush.
This home sits on a hill that was originally covered in ivy, with the flat areas featuring sad patches of grass and a sickly, poorly maintained pine tree. The homeowners removed the ivy and sick pine tree, then started work on their new design, building the hardscape (walls, berms, drywells, patio and pond) and installing the drip irrigation and LED lighting systems. Mortarless garden walls were built along the crest of the hill and a natural rock berm was installed midway down the slope. These additions created swales to capture water as well as tiered planting beds. All rain runoff is now directed into either soil berms or drywells, such that virtually no water is draining to the street.  
This process has been on-going for several years and continues to evolve. The soil has been amended repeatedly with free mulch from the city. The homeowners also continue to use worm composting to supplement the soil. The landscaping is watered by hand with a deep soaking on average once a month.
The homeowners added a water feature in the past year as part of a water permeable flagstone patio. The water feature has been an unexpected success at attracting wildlife! Finches and hummingbirds are especially fond of it. 
Raised vegetable beds, which are just taking off, are the most recent addition.   

This yard is a work in progress. The homeowners’ aim is to landscape with nature, and let nature tell it what works with the soil and climate.

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