By popular demand

Marianne Simon of the Santa Monica firm Poetic Plantings was noted for her design's permeable paving, screening, recycled materials and use of Mediterranean, California native and edible plants.

After more than 4,000 votes were cast by the public, the City of Santa Monica has announced the winning designs for its three sustainable demonstration gardens to be installed this fall off Airport Boulevard. Click here to read about the winners in the Los Angeles Times.

A beauty contest with brains

IN the name of water conservation and reducing storm-water pollution, the city of Santa Monica has embarked on a demonstration project that not only shows what a sustainable garden looks like, but also offers design schematics, expert referrals and assurance that nurseries will make the plants available.

The latest move builds on the success of the 2004 demonstration project titled “garden/garden” at Santa Monica City College. It provided a side-by-side comparison of a water-saving landscape with a conventional one.

The new project, to be built on city-owned property at 3200 Airport Ave., will involve construction of three sustainable gardens side by side. According to a statement released by the city, among the design criteria were incorporation of “outdoor living room features, elements from Mediterranean and shade gardens, climate appropriate plants, permeable paving, veggie gardens, play areas, drip irrigation and lawn alternatives.”

What will the three gardens look like? That’s