There's a lot to see and learn in this garden!
On an average residential lot, these garden owners have used every inch to incorporate chickens, bees, vegetable garden - especially heirloom tomatoes and herbs - succulents and mostly low water California native plants. It's their "urban farm."
Seven years ago, inspired by the tranquility of their new backyard, the homeowners decided to transform the front as well, incorporating a dry-rock river bed that serves as a swale into the design. They left several existing trees and a few camelia bushes, then filled in with drought-tolerant plants. Ceanothus, manzanitas, fairy duster monkey flower and blooming sages grow along the dry river bed.
The parkway has less dense plantings and decomposed granite to ensure easy access from a car parked on the street. A six-inch wide rock drainage around the parking strip to control water run-off from the sidewalk solved an erosion problem and also adds a design element.
The areas that were once thirsty lawn now use almost no water except in severe drought. Irrigation is almost completely by underground drippers and individual bubblers.
The owners keep two compost bins going, utilizing the chicken manure. They have several bird feeders and big pots with milkweed for the Monarch butterflies. The house has solar panels installed by Sungevity.
The garden owners will have information about free mulch locations and can help with questions about chickens and beekeeping. They'll also have forms for certifying your habitat with the National Wildlife Foundation. There will be a beekeeping demonstration, as the homeowner is part of HoneyLove, and strained and comb honey for sampling.