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A Colorful, California-Friendly Garden

Articles: A Colorful, California-Friendly Garden

The front yard (after) Photographs by Amanda VanDenBurgh

Walking briskly, I entered our library in Huntington Beach, hoping that the free presentation on “California-Friendly Gardening for the Water-Wise Gardener” had not commenced. Landscape architect Guy Stivers began his talk just as I sat down. He expounded, in a learned yet accessible way, on responsible water management coupled with organic landscaping. Guy described plants that particularly suited Southern California—tough, adaptable, drought-resistant plants that were colorful most of the year. Illustrating his presentation was a myriad of photographs that actually stunned me with their beauty—such lovely hues, interesting textures, and striking shapes. Afterwards, I approached Guy, who was surrounded by enthusiasts, to ask for his business card. He also provided me with a copy of the MWD presentation (Metropolitan Water District of Southern California). I went home immediately to share the epiphany with Amanda, my life partner. That day in 2008, our transformation from unschooled consumers to involved citizens—via gardening—began in earnest.

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