Drought-tolerant, but a bit formal
After Linda Sanoff let her lawn die off and removed it, she knew that she wanted to replace it with a drought-tolerant alternative that would complement her Mediterranean home in Hancock Park. ¶ “We wanted something traditional,” Sanoff said. “I didn’t want an English garden, but I did want something a little formal.” ¶ So Sanoff and her husband, Gerry, asked landscape designer Michael Kirchmann Jr. of Anigo Garden Design to help them convert their former front lawn into a lush low-water oasis that requires very little maintenance.
“The transformation was all about water,” Sanoff said. “It’s a precious resource. We would have done this even without the rebate because it was the right thing to do.”
The couple began by replacing the turf on their parking strip with the South African ground cover Dymondia margaretae. When the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power began offering turf removal rebates, it gave them extra motivation to keep going.
To help them visualize the new garden, Kirchmann took a picture of the house and covered it with a sheet of paper. On it, he drew in all of the plants so the couple could visualize their new garden.
To their delight, it grew in just as he illustrated.
Kirchmann kept the agapanthus, trumpet vine and roses because they were well established and planted droughttolerant shrubs, perennials and succulents — lavender, rock roses, lantana and iris among them.
He also added a decomposed granite walkway to allow access for the trash cans and installed a drip irrigation system.
Sanoff says she is pleased with the results and the 20% savings on their water consumption.
Now when neighbors walk by and comment on their landscape, she offers them encouragement. “I tell them ‘you can do this too,’ ” she said.
The couple removed the parkway in February 2015, stopped watering the front lawn in June and planted the new yard in November.
They received a turf rebate of $3,500 and invested $9,000 more.
See how the front yard evolved over time and what it looks like today:
SEPTEMBER 2014 | THE FRONT YARD BEFORE The 1926 Mediterranean home was bound by a traditional — and thirsty — lawn. The Sanoffs stopped watering the lawn and let it die over four months. They skipped weed killer and had their gardener dig up the dead lawn, along with 6 inches of soil before installing the new plants.
SEPTEMBER 2014 | THE PARKWAY BEFORE Linda Sarnoff let her lawn die off and removed it, she knew she wanted to replace it with a drought-tolerant alternative that would complement her Mediterranean home in Hancock Park.
APRIL 2017 | THE FRONT YARD IN THE SPRING Following record winter rain in Southern California, the garden is alive with a variety of blooms, shapes and textures.
FEBRUARY 2015 | THE PARKWAY IN TRANSITION The South African ground cover Dymondia margaretae (silver carpet) begins to fill in on the parking strip.