By Rex Frankel
4/7/2009--Local gardeners opened their wildflower-filled yards to the public over the weekend to show how removing the old green lawn can give you a beautiful garden and use a fraction of the water.
The native gardens tour was sponsored for the sixth year by the Theodore Payne Foundation, which operates a plant nursery and “wildflower hill” in the eastern
The native gardens featured an explosion of color, including orange
One of the Payne Foundation’s displays documented the benefit of restored native gardens in that they attract native butterflies, birds, bees and lizards.
Yet another benefit of native gardens is that they help homeowners save a lot of money on their water bills.
One of the tour destinations was the “garden/garden” at
Saving water has been big in the news lately because the normal drought conditions that L.A. always faces has gotten much more acute this year due to a federal court decision to protect fish in the Sacramento River. The River located 400 miles from here is the source for up to half of
Several of the gardeners proudly pointed out that they never water their yards because the winter rains are enough. Once native plants are established for one season, typically, watering is unnecessary except in a severe heatwave.
While most of the gardens were at private homes, there are several parks that feature all native landscaping in our local area.
Two are at the local Ballona Wetlands:
--Check out the Ballona freshwater marsh at the corner of Lincoln and Jefferson Blvds.
--Also try the Ballona bluffs trail at the top of
The Baldwin Hills/Kenneth Hahn State Park features several miles of trails through native sagebrush and wildflowers. The parking lot is reached from
Finally, a beautiful 8 acre native park and lake that was created from a power company storage yard is
GET MORE INFORMATION:
Theodore Payne Foundation: http://theodorepayne.org
Ballona Plants compendium: http://ballonaplants.blogspot.com