If you still have a lawn and want it evergreen, but using as little water as possible, just add clover. Hopefully, you’re already maintaining your lawn organically (no chemical fertilizers or herbicides or weed&feed) and grasscycling. If you look closely, you will probably find some clover there already, probably in the really green parts. If not, you can overseed any part of your lawn that is looking bare/brown/patchy with Dutch White Clover seed. You can also top with some compost for good measure, but no need to go crazy with stinky manure.
Clovers, like legumes, (and with help from their little friends, in the soil) pull nitrogen out of the air and bring it into the soil, where they share it with the grass. Free, natural, bio-available fertilizer. That’s why the grass growing with them is super healthy.
You can order seed online (it’s cheaper than fertilizer!), and just scatter some around your yard, especially where it’s looking unhappy. Water it regularly for a week or so and watch your grass turn super (lucky) green.
Read more about this in the “Estate Lawn” section of the Beverly Hills Garden Handbook.
Starting with: bare dirt, wild vines, and existing decks.
What did we design? First, we worked out the grade change by adding a short garden wall and steps and cleaned up the vines. Next, drip irrigation, concrete pavers and a fossil-fuel-free EcoSmart firepit created outdoor living spaces, which needed some new outdoor furniture (we love Pot-Ted!).
Plants make the garden, so we started a soil party (by planting Myco-Packs with each plant), planted climate appropriate, low-water, dog-proof plants, and topped it all with a thick, healthy layer of mulch to feed the soil, limit evaporation, and keep everyone clean.
Ending: No! Now the fun starts for our clients, their dog, and their healthy new garden.
Here’s what the garden does:
+ Captures and infiltrates stormwater, eliminating site run-off and the need for imported water.
+ Produces lemons, apples, shade, habitat, flowers, and year-round color.
+ Requires limited maintenance: Paths, decks and stairs should be swept weekly, with all leaf debris spread around on existing mulch. Minor weeding will be required as everything settles in, and after seasonal rains. Trees and vines will need yearly pruning.
+ Requires limited inputs: Efficient drip irrigation is required to establish new plants, and then provide supplemental water in drought years, just twice a month. Light fixtures are LED and both super efficient and dimmable (with an app!).
+ Dog playground! Mulch keeps paws clean, limits flees, and provides a safe landing for rolling and frolicking. Plants are all sturdy and can stand an enthusiastic pit bull running into and through them.
Water in LA (in Los Angeles Magazine)
The September issue features a really great collection of articles about regional water, addressing issues including:
- where our water comes from
- historical and political issues
- what our future may hold
- and what we can do about it (#1 tip – water-smart landscaping!)
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