Livermore: The Social Garden

Designer: Ann Morrison, Chrysalis Gardens
Location: Livermore, California
Sunset Zone: 14

The owners of this property wanted to transform their front lawn into a beautiful and productive garden that would allow them to engage neighbors. Gardeners both, the owners enjoy doing maintenance themselves and wanted to incorporate edibles and native plants. 

Designer Ann Morrison created a plan that locates raised beds in the planting strips and replaces most of the lawn in the yard with natives.  The raised beds vary from 3-4’ in width. The level area under the street lamp would become an open seating area with a permanent bench installed. Everyone’s welcome.  By locating their edible garden in the front and providing seating for the public, the garden renovation invites participation. The owners want to visit with passersby and set an example by planting a mix of herbs and flowers in the middle of more low maintenance and drought tolerant options.

Design Tip: For the home gardener, locating higher maintenance plants, like edibles, in the front provides an excellent way to get to know your neighbors while you weed, plant, water, mulch, apply compost, or harvest. 

About the Designer:  Originally from Ireland, Ann Morrison has been Bay-Friendly Qualified since 2009. She specializes in "getting people back into their front yards."