Water-wise garden makeover

Native plants and permeable paving are both Earth-friendly and attractive

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  • A patio off the side yard acts as an extension to the family room.

    Water-wise patio

    Steven Gunther

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RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE GARDENING

Santa Monica's Green Gardens Tour Committee suggests these helpful websites.

bewaterwise.com
Water-conserving landscape tips from Southern California water agencies include a list of 1,200 plant species suitable for the region's gardens, water-conservation ideas, watering calculator, rebate offers, and more.

cnps.org
The California Native Plant Society site is useful for finding local chapters, workshops, plant sales, and more.

grist.org
An eco-activist zine.

growingnative.com
Berkeley author Louise Lacey covers the basics on growing native plants.

losethelawn.com
Inspiration to replace your turf includes a photo gallery of low-water front yards. It's sponsored by Middlebrook Gardens, a San Jose garden-design firm specializing in natives gardening and sustainable practices.

smartgardening.com
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works' research tool for green homes and gardens.

smepd.org/landscape
Santa Monica's Sustainable Landscape Resources page.

treehugger.com
A zine for environmental news and commentary.

The committee also recommends visiting Santa Monica's demonstration gardens (free; 1718 and 1724 Pearl St.), where California-native and traditional landscape designs are compared. The native garden uses 80 percent less water than the traditional garden, and cuts maintenance costs and green waste in half.

Design: Stephanie Wilson Blanc, Pacific Palisades (310/459-3131)

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