Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District

by Lorraine on July 4, 2009

On this morning’s news there was a particularly good story discussing our current drought situation.   As I had mentioned in a previous post, the City of Los Angeles was going to start charging more for those customers that have high water usage and citizens are starting to feel that extra cost now.  

ABC news had a story about it this morning and something like an additional 15% in fees would be added to water bills in certain parts of the city.   People are not going to like this very much but it’s time to be realistic about our situation here in southern California and quit wasting water that can amount to as much as 70%  ( And most of that is running down the gutters) for landscapes.    “Read” LAWNS here!

There’s too much run off and it’s filled with fertilizers and pesticides, which ultimately end up in the ocean, creating other problems for marine life.  But that’s entirely different topic.

Part of their story, included an interview with a woman who has a native plant garden in the Los Angeles area.   She removed her lawn about the same time that I did and completely transformed her front yard.   Exactly what I did, too!  Her garden was lovely and she said (just like me), that it’s filled with birds and butterflies all the time.

She really did a nice job on her design and she said that when she had a lawn, she was watering it almost daily, whereas with her new native garden, she waters about every three weeks.  Now that she is using less water, she’s found that her monthly water bill is very small.

The Reporter also interviewed the mgr. at the Theodore Payne Foundation located in Sylmar, CA.   This is a Native plant nursery dedicated to the propagation and sale of plants that are found in our area.   It’s one of my favorites places to visit and the staff is very helpful and it’s difficult not to go there and leave with a smile on your face.

Plus it really smells devine.   Sages, anyone?

They have classes of all types on how to design a garden, plant selection and care.   Once a year they have a Native Plant Garden tour featuring gardens throughout out the Los Angeles region.   They haven’t used any in Ventura county, but I understand that they are getting requests for them, so more than likely my garden will be featured in next year’s tour.

If you are interested in making a change in your landscape and “going native”, you must remove your lawn and typically it’s done during the summer.   You will need some time to prepare the area and figure out what you want to do with it and get going on your research so that you will be ready to do your planting later in the year. 

There are large Native plant sales that come up during the fall, which is the ideal time to plant, so get your space ready now and be prepared.  FYI….there are some good books on native plants and gardening, and sometimes they can be found at the local bookstore but be sure that they relate to plants in southern CA.  and not other parts of the country.   The  Theo. Payne Foundation, also has a selection of books needless to say and of course expert advice, too!

Here is their web site and have a wonderful, safe and fun 4th. of July!

www.theodorepayne.org

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