“Waterblogged”

The People issue of LA Weekly, online tonight, on stands tomorrow, includes Chance of Rain’s Emily Green, photo left. The surrounding garden, including the photo detail with native sages and a Mediterranean olive, are part of an 8,700 square foot lot with a small house in central Los Angeles where water consumption has been reduced largely through landscape changes from 150 gallons per day to 50. Lushness is achieved through use of mediterranean climate plants and aggressive rainwater harvesting. All but the vegetable garden and fruit trees will go dormant — and unwatered — in the summer. Emily Green’s column on water conservation in the landscape, The Dry Garden, appears every Friday online in the Los Angeles Times.

Better red than dead

Nano update: Ed Osann explains at the NRDC Switchboard how the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s conservation program on Tuesday escaped cutting or even cancellation by a board seeking immediate economies. Via Aquafornia.

Dry people

Lili Singer inside one of the greenhouses at the Theodore Payne Foundation, where she is Special Projects Coordinator. Singer also teaches regular Thursday garden classes at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Click on the image to be taken to the Theodore Payne Foundation. Photo: Emily Green / Chance of Rain

That pillar of Southern Californian horticulture Lili Singer will be among the experts taking part in “garden chats” at the Los Angeles Garden Show in Arcadia over the next three days. Singer will be talking about the single most important choice that a homeowner makes when planting a garden: the selection of trees.

Also among the workshop presenters focussing on dry gardening will be Bob Perry, author of Landscape Plants for California Gardens. His emphasis will be on establishing a cohesive garden palette. Los Angeles County Arboretum horticulturist Jill Morganelli will lead discussion of

May fully loaded

Click here for newly compiled May listings of Southern Californian plant sales, garden tours, lectures, hikes, restoration projects and shows. If you have an event that you would like included, please e-mail the details and links to emily.green [@] mac.com.

Changing the equation

Los Angeles garden designer Marilee Kuhlmann was one of eighty homeowners who opened their gardens last weekend for the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase. Photo: Emily Green / Chance of Rain

In so many conventional gardens with lawn and hedges, the equation is:

Water = sprinkler run-off and plant growth = Pacific pollution and mowing and pruning = noise and air pollution = green waste = more noise and air pollution.

Most of us know how destructive it is but have little idea how to change. Last week, the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase in Los Angeles set out to show the way. In what felt less like a garden tour and more like a happening, eighty West Los Angeles homeowners who have taken out turf to create gardens that trap rainwater, produce food and have well-adapted flora opened their homes to the public. Here, the new equation is:

Water

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