12450 Barbara Avenue

I am so excited to be Chair of the revitalized Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase for 2018 and hope you will visit my garden (front and back are open). Reps from the LADWP will also have a table talking about all the great rebates that are available through the city (cash for turf, irrigation, free trees, etc.).
As you can see from the "before" shot, when I bought the house in 2013, it had a boring lawn, some roses here and there with no beds, pavers, shrubs or drought-tolerant plantings. That blank slate was great in many ways as I could create my own vision. But it also produced in me a horrible period of paralysis. I didn't know what to do and felt overwhelmed. Here's my biggest tip if you find yourself in a similar situation: PINTEREST ROCKS!!! I just devoured hundreds of images of sustainable gardens and pared down what might work for me. And I recalled many of the gardens I had visited on previous Mar Vista Garden Showcases. I was so lucky that a wonderful landscape designer named Michael Todoran lives in my neighborhood and I hired him to create the actual plan for my front garden. Then my longtime gardener Henriis Caballero took over and did the plantings, created the porous fence, installed the drip irrigation system and hopseed perimeter, and laid down the decomposed granite walkways.
Beau Finnegan loves his front garden 

The front yard's half-moon pathway separates beds of echium (Pride of Madeira), society garlic, various sages, butterfly bush, night-blooming iris, milkweed, and Eastern redbud, olive and Jacaranda trees. My sustainable garden dream came true with lots of help...I wish the same for you.
Before shot of front

Backyard "secret garden"