How This LA Couple Replaced Their Lawn with Drought Tolerant Plants & Mulch

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Husband and wife Mark Rinaldi and Debbie Imsland have long been interested in sustainability. At home, they were conscientious about conserving water, taking care not to water the lawn too often or stay in the shower too long.

But it wasn’t until Debbie attended one of our Rainwater Harvesting Workshops that they considered making some major changes to their Gardena home. It started when they installed rain barrels in their yard, but it wasn’t long until they turned to their lawn.… Read more >>

How to Kill Your Lawn

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Now that we’re in the depths of the drought, LADWP is offering $3 per square foot for turf replacement. Since some 50% of our water goes to landscaping, ripping out your lawn is one of the best ways you can conserve water.

How do you go about killing your lawn? Well, the easiest and best way to reduce your turf is sheet mulching. With sheet mulching, your yard can go from a water-thirsty, outdated green shag carpet to a sustainable garden with about as much effort as it takes to mow the lawn.… Read more >>

Fighting Drought One Lawn at a Time: LADWP’s Cash In Your Lawn Program

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One hundred percent of California is now in a severe drought, and Los Angeles County is even worse off, classified by the United States Drought Monitor  as in “extreme drought” conditions. Now, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is calling on Angelenos to do their part to conserve water—and as an incentive, they’ve upped their turf replacement rebate from $2 per square foot to $3.… Read more >>

No Need to Plant-Sit These California Natives

Black Sage and Flannelbush, photos by Donnella Anderson

Going on vacation? Trying to find someone to care for your garden while you’re away? Well, this amazing duo of SoCal natives goes on vacay with you, as they need almost no water in the summer. Black sage and Flannel bush will lounge around your garden, perfectly blending with the beautiful and laid-back vibe of the SoCal summer. So take your time off and come back home to a garden that will look as fab as you do!

Black sage (Salvia mellifera)
Evergreen shrub, California native measuring 5’ tall and 5’ wide.… Read more >>

Keeping Memories of Trees Alive and Growing in L.A.

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Did you grow up in Los Angeles? Can you remember what the streets and parks looked like when you were a small child? Is it hard to imagine what used to stand where a new mall or office building now looms?

For Josh, growth is measured by a pine tree in Van Nuys.

When Josh was in the first grade in the early 1980s, he went on a field trip to TreePeople with his class from the Open Magnet School. The memory was still vivid when he came to talk to us at our booth at an Earth Day event this year.… Read more >>

Fruit Trees Go Public

Photo: Vahagn Karapetyan

You’ll have read about and possibly visited the public park orchard planted at Del Aire Park that opened last fall. It’s a Los Angeles County Arts Commission-sponsored project of the artist group Fallen Fruit, famous locally for their neighborhood maps of fruit-bearing trees accessible in public rights of way and the “fruit jams” they hold in L.A. museums and galleries. Like artist Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates, the Del Aire Fruit Tree Park acquaints the neighborhood with the notion of growing food in front, where everyone can see it and, better, eat it.… Read more >>

It’s Raining! It’s Pouring!

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On average, Los Angeles gets only a quarter of an inch of rainfall in May. And yet… This year—a very dry one at that—we got a full inch of rain with the last storm. That bit of rainfall not only helped squelch the wildfires (which had an earlier than usual start this year), but it took this season from being the 4th driest to the 7th driest winter on record.

And while that may still seem pretty dire, here’s some hope: That rain was harvested at TreePeople’s headquarters, and is now stored in our cistern to use as supplemental landscape irrigation this summer.… Read more >>