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

Windsor Square Native Garden Revisited

Shade-loving native plants in the Guzin front yard garden in Windsor Square have grown nicely over the past year.

In honor of National Native Plant Month, we thought we would revisit a local garden we wrote about last Spring that had been transformed by Windsor Square residents Wendy and Larry Guzin into a native garden.

When the Guzins decided to design their new front garden themselves, Wendy, an avid gardener and a member of the Hancock Park Garden Club, where she chairs their Conservation Committee, dug deep into local nurseries that specialized in native plants and wildflowers to find the best options for her garden.

When we stopped by this year, we could see the garden had filled in nicely. As with any garden, some plants were more successful than others and Guzin was taking notes and planning adjustments.

This native iris is thriving in the garden.
Native daisy is starting to bloom
This native strawberry is starting to spread.

Guzin and her good friend and nearby neighbor Dana Barker, who lives in the Ridgewood-Wilton Historic District, often visit nurseries and gardens to learn more about the best plants for their gardens.

Wendy Guzin and Dana Barker in Barker’s Ridgewood Drive garden.
About fifty percent of Barker’s garden are native plants, though all the plants `like this stunning Proteaceae (center), also known as sunshine conebush and Santa Barbara Daisy (lower left), are climate-appropriate.

Barker is currently revamping her garden by adding more California natives.

“The first iteration of the garden was planted with Mediterranean and Austrailian plants that are climate appropriate but now we adding natives so we can support local wildlife too,” explained Barker.

Barker is adding this native mallow to her garden.

Both are inspired by local gardens they see while walking through the neighborhood.

“This garden on Van Ness really got me inspired to revise our garden,” said Barker, also a member of the Hancock Park Garden Club. “I thought, if they can do it, I can do it.”

The arroyo in this garden on Van Ness Avenue inspired Barker to put one in her own garden.
Barker and Guzin highly recommend this bright orange Sticky Monkey-Flower found in the Van Ness garden they both admire. Guzin has a white variety in her garden.
Barker and Guzin are inspired by local gardens and often take photos of plants they want to learn more about.

Like all great gardeners, Barker and Guzin are always adding plants and tweaking their gardens.

“After I planted the garden, neighbors started stopping by asking questions wanting to learn more about native plants,” said Guzin, who added that she is happy to help anyone who wants suggestions on finding the right plant pallet for their garden. You can email her at [email protected].

“Adding a few native plants is a great way to get started learning about natives and to support our local biodiversity,” explained Guzin.

While the Garden Club of America and its member clubs like the Hancock Park Garden Club are celebrating April as Native Plant Month, Guzin and Barker have become passionate about learning as much as they can about native plants all year long and their front yards gardens inspire neighbors to learn more too.

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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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