blue-fountain in low water garden

Mar Vista Green Garden Tour: Part 2

by / 9 Comments / 2465 View / April 30, 2009

This is Part 2 of the Mar Vista Green Garden Tour in Southern California.


Need some more inspiration for a low-water garden?

The Mar Vista Green Garden tour  I attended last week yielded lots of design and plant combination ideas.
























Instead of installing a traditional lawn, this homeowner created a "living tapestry" using ground cover plants.

There is lime-colored Helichrysum, purple, Trandescantia, silver/green Senecio, with a bisecting pea gravel path.

To the left of the path is  clumping Festuca glauca, "Elijah Gray."

The contrasting foliage color and texture will impart a dynamic look to the  garden year-round.
























The parkway of this house features a pervious surface composed of small and large gravel which discourages water from running off into the street.

Although a pervious surface is ideal, in this situation, the gravel was difficult to walk on and flew all over the place when stepped on.

Messy but a nice idea.

























A manufactured spa usually offers a more customized "jet configuration" than  in-ground spas,  but you have to admit, they are "oogly!"

Designer Johanna Woollcott has the right idea, nestling it behind an olive tree and tall, strapping Phormium, a silver cloud of Westringia, and a couple of varieties of Euphorbia.

"Ethereal" describes this garden.



















Woollcott positioned a small, old-world fountain opposite the spa niche that screens a charming sitting area in front of the wood fence.

The fact that you can't see it is a wonderful design application of "mystery" and enclosure.

























Woollcott's front yard was adrift with ornamental grasses, chartruese colored Euphorbia,  Bulbine and an anchoring Melaluca nesophylla tree.


Front yard gardens benefit from mounding, as it helps to break up wide, flat spans usually covered with lawn.

This designer gets extra points for using broken and recycled concrete as "steppingstones" in this walkway.























A closer look at the mounded garden bed and Melaluca tree.

There are many shades of green in this garden and that is a good thing!



















A glazed, blue ceramic pot is transformed into a spilling fountain with water that "disappears" into the gravel.

The fountain is color-keyed to compliment the house trim.
























This homeowner took the liberty of painting her neighbor's garage wall a vivid terra cotta color (for her eyes only) and transformed an "eyesore wall" into an artistic backdrop.

Do you ask permission from your neighbor first, or beg for forgiveness later?

Depends on what your neighbor is like!


This was the third annual "Green Garden" tour for the Mar Vista community in Southern California.


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9 Comment

  1. Thanks Patricia. Happy to help you with some direction.
    I’ve not tried a third container so if you do that, please report back your experience!

    Keep on gardening.


  2. Hi Patricia.

    I agree. The Mar Vista tour is in a few weeks and I plan to go again and bring back lots of photos!
    What kind of garden do you have?


  3. The gardens are beautiful! I love mixing different color leaves, textures, plant shapes and mass plantings.

  4. Thanks so much Shirley! 5 gallon paint containers…what a great idea. Do you think that they could be doubled up adding a 3rd container, that would allow for varying degrees of decomposition? I guess the trick would be to lure them up or just transfer some of the multiplying numbers. I am so excited to start this! Love your brain and creativity! Best Wishes, Patty

  5. Hi Patricia,

    I suggest you buy 2 5-gallon buckets for your worm composting bin.

    Have you read my blog post on Vermiculture or watched my video:

  6. Hi Shirley! Tiffany (daughter) and I are getting ready to start our worm farm. Do you have any tips on containers? I found your Utube video, is there another Home and Family segment on the subject that you have done?  I'd love to hear your tips and advice before we start, as I know you really do your research and know resources to go to. Thank you for your help, Patricia

  7. I love the color combo in the first photo: lime, purple and silver/green. All in all, some very attractive landscaping.

  8. Hi Anna,
    It’s great hearing from you! Yes, Los Angeles and NC are quite different garden zones. We have the threat of drought always on our shoulders so the landscapes have a completely different feel and look than areas like yours that actually get some rain.

    Can’t wait to visit NC later this year! Hope to meet you. I noticed your new photo too- I see you got a makeover- cute!

  9. You know I really like these colors–especially the blues. I like the order in the first lawn. Our outdoor rooms are so different down here. We get a lot more rain and so you know all my porches are covered. And…we have a screened porch to keep the skeeters out.

    This was a very good article and it’s nice to see something different for the landscape. Love your new picture. You are beautiful!

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