Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

San Francisco’s Ugliest Yard Competition

Ugliest Yard Contest hosted by the City of San Francisco

According to NPR yesterday, residents of San Francisco are invited to submit their yard for a chance to win a make over in the city’s ugliest yard competition. We could see this program here in Los Angeles.

In an effort to encourage residents to reconsider their landscaping, the San Francisco Department of Environment is offering the grand prize winner a makeover complete with drought tolerant native plants donated by a landscape design firm in San Francisco specializing in California native plants and modern materials.

A submission from the San Francisco "Ugliest Yard" competition.
A submission from the San Francisco “Ugliest Yard” competition.

Three first prize winners get a landscape design consultation. All submissions will get a seed packet of native plant seeds to get their own makeover started. To enter, residents submit a photo of their yard and tell why it needs a makeover.  No, you can’t send in your neighbor’s yard, nor the neglected corner lot on your way to work.

There’s little doubt that having one’s grass go dead is not the prettiest site, yet using our very limited water resources during this drought could mean we really will be out of water in not too long (thus the San Francisco campaign that says “Water wasting yards are ugly yards”.) According to recent reports, California’s reservoirs only have enough water to supply the state with one more year of water, and agriculture and municipal systems are tapping into rapidly depleting groundwater like never before. This California drought is real.

So what’s a good neighbor to do? Cut way back on watering of your front lawn – it’s now mandated only twice per week and only during early morning or evening hours.  Or, consider letting your lawn go brown, and replacing it with some drought tolerant plantings. The DWP is still offering cash incentives to those in their Turf Replacement program and has guidelines and an easy online application to get you started. 

Or consider planting trees, suggests Scott Goldstein, Chairman of Canopy, the branch of the Windsor Square Association devoted to the care of the thousands of parkway trees that grace these streets.  Goldstein describes his success with native oak trees in the parkway in front of his home in a recent interview that appeared in the Buzz.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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