6 Landscapes to Get Inspired for Planting Season

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You’ve let your lawn go golden. Now what?

With planting season around the corner, planning your new landscape might seem like a daunting task. Never fear! Here are seven gorgeous yards to get your creative, sustainable juices flowing—as well as practical watershed tips to keep in mind!

1. Cut back on turf!

13Grdns-0005Did you know that landscape irrigation accounts for all residential use? It doesn’t need to be that way—especially not in California! With a plethora of options, cutting back on turf is a cinch!… Read more >>

Is Los Angeles Ready For El Nino?


El Niño is likely to be heading our way this winter, bringing upwards of 30 inches of rain to Los Angeles. So, the drought is essentially over—right? Wrong.

Well, that is, unless we prepare properly.

Unfortunately, as the climate shifts, we can expect to see drought and floods as two sides of the same coin. As we adapt to this new norm, we can expect both drier conditions and more severe storms. Unless we adopt new habits, like learning to responsibly capture those drops, we can expect drought conditions to continue.… Read more >>

Mulch Now, Plant Later


Did you know California residents use more than 50% of our drinking water to water their yards?

It’s true! In fact, a 1,000 square foot lawn with an average sprinkler system uses about 25,000 gallons of water per year. In the midst of a historic drought, that’s precious water we simply can’t afford to waste!

Luckily, the drought is teaching us to use our resources more wisely—to let our lawns go golden, while still watering our trees — and to plant water wise natives at home.… Read more >>

El Niño May Be Around the Corner. Are You Prepared?


El Niño may be around the corner come this fall’s rainy season, and scientists are predicting even greater storms than 1997—which flooded Southern California. After four years of severe drought, that is welcome news!

However, it’s important to ensure we’re prepared to capture the stormwater and store it responsibly. Any rainwater harvesting system starts with rain gutters and downspouts. With summer upon us, we’re here to help you get ready for fall – and what may fall from the sky. This is the perfect time to tidy up and ensure that all your elements are in good shape.… Read more >>

The Artifice of Artificial Turf

Dominic Alves via Flickr Creative Commons

You may have been hearing a lot of praise for fake grass in the media lately, but I’m here to set the record straight: Fake turf does more harm than good.

I’m not sure when I started hating artificial grass. Maybe it was when my beloved grandmother planted fake flowers in her garden beds so the Easter photos would “turn out nice.” For the record, I tried to pick them, and everyone laughed at us.


But I think it has to do more with the sheer fact that fake grass, or it’s trendier name—frass—has no place in a sustainable landscape.… Read more >>

5 Reasons to Celebrate Biodiversity Day


The United Nations has named May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity! But why does biodiversity matter, and what does it mean for you?

At the highest level, biodiversity refers to all the different species on planet Earth. But on a much smaller scale, you could study the biodiversity within a local ecosystem, like the Santa Monica Mountains, the LA River or a neighborhood park.

The Earth is an incredibly complex machine, with all its interrelated organisms and ecosystems playing an important and necessary part.… Read more >>

I Am TreePeople: Janie Thompson


Without the hard work of community, we couldn’t do what we do. This month, we’re spotlighting a volunteer whose love of trees lead her to water. Meet Janie Thompson, TreePeople Citizen Arborist and advocate for water conservation, whose home has been called a model of water conservation practices by LA Councilmember Paul Koretz and the LADWP.

When Janie moved to LA in the 1980s, she was amazed at the variety of plants and trees that would grow here. “Had I been given that knowledge [which plants are climate-appropriate] that would have been so valuable,” she says now, but back then she planted on her Encino property without much regard for the local climate.… Read more >>