We are well along transitioning our gardens from an English country garden, which we opened to previous tours, to a revised California drought-tolerant country garden. We just barely made the deadline to join in Long Beach’s “ Lawn to Garden” program with its rebates, but that put us into a record-hot August and September 2015 deadline for completion of planting. It was a close call, and we almost lost many plants to the heat/lack of familiarity with new irrigation and behavior of unfamiliar plantings. We ripped out approximately 2,000 sq ft of our front yard lawn and converted to plantings such as low-growing junipers, myoporium, agave, aloe, leucadendrons, and the like (Long Beach has a user friendly site for guidance on of low-water plants). We brought in about 5 tons of river boulders and flagstones, sand, gravel, and bricks for rebuilding a winding walkway through the new garden. We have created a “ mountain meadow” environment. Our latest water bill is for less than half what was used before conversion, and continues reducing as plants become established.
Our dozens of Milkweed plants (yes, we know they are not low-water plants) provide the host plant for a proliferation of Monarch butterflies with their eggs and caterpillars, producing numerous chrysalises year-round. Our mature trees and plants reflect 27 years in this home, and the ever-changing gardens form our paradise for relaxing and enjoying life.
La Linda Dr is a gated circular historic street of 35 homes. The Drive is very old and narrow with very little parking, so park on Bixby Rd just west of Long Beach Blvd and enter the Drive through the large wrought-iron gates—the pedestrian gate will be left open for this tour. Inside the gate, bear left and # 45 is the third house on the right side, approx. 100 yards from the gate.