Yet another drought in 2018 and attending a presentation by an OC California Native Plant Society member led us to take action.
We now use 60% less water. We have areas to sit and gather with family and neighbors. We are in our front yard more than ever compared to having a lawn.
Most enjoyable is seeing the birds and butterflies so often.
A hand-built, Calystegia-covered, cedar arbor welcomes you to this inviting cottage garden inspired by the historic English cottage home it embraces. True to the cottage garden ethos, it features wild plantings and reused materials. Antique bricks were salvaged from a local estate and used to build paths and patio spaces. Concrete was removed from the driveway and repurposed as urbanite retaining walls and paving stones.
I contacted the landscape designer at Tree of Life Nursery to create a space with the most beneficial plants to provide food, shelter and nesting places for native birds and insects but with enough space between plants so I can trim and keep it neat and attractive for my neighbors. I live on the busiest corner in my tract and often talk to passersby about touching and smelling my plants and showing which attract butterflies and hummingbirds. I am known around the Colony as “the plant lady.”
Irvine Ranch Water District,
The IRWD’s native plant garden was planted in late July 2022. California native plants are beautiful, low-maintenance, and adapted to our local rain cycle. There are thousands of varieties to choose from – everything from trees and shrubs, to grasses and succulents. Butterflies, bees, birds, and other important pollinators will want to call your garden home. No plant is better adapted to our climate than those that are found here, naturally.
The property has been transformed into a nature garden for the family and as a habitat/food source for birds, butterflies and insects. The garden has about 75% native plantings with the rest primarily drought-tolerant. The property is south facing, so the sun beats down on most areas, most of the day. The steep slope has been stabilized with the hardiest natives. The garden is a monarch butterfly waystation.
Gary Hurd Garden
When we bought our Dana Point house in 1993 we decided to make the front yard all native. One thing I enjoy the most is observing the wildlife that visits, or takes up residence. We are host to about 30 species of plants in a very small yard. We have nearly that many species of birds visit, with several that nested over the years. There are well over 30 species of insect, butterflies to bees, that are visitors or residents.
In 2011 the back garden was converted to mostly Cal native plants to attract more birds. The front garden was converted to natives in 2021. The yard distinguishes itself by showing just how beautiful natives can be all year round when created with a thoughtful design, properly maintained, and blooming in different seasons. The garden incorporates wind sculptures, other whimsical art, seating areas, Talavera pottery, and succulents to create a fun vibe.
This half acre property is mainly flat through the backyard, and then a steep drop-off in the front yard. It could be characterized as a rambling blend of native and non-natives, but most of the keystone plants are from California chaparral and coastal sage scrub communities. Some plants have been in the ground for 10-15 years. Insects, spiders, lizards, snakes, birds, owls, sphinx moths, possum, rats, bats, raccoon, coyote and a lone bobcat have all made their way through here.