While the front garden increases the curb appeal of the Shotgun House and the beauty of a highly-trafficked commercial area, it is much more than a pretty face.
The garden’s hardscape is minimal, but impactful. The ADA compliant brick path is free of mortar, so water can slip between the bricks and be cleansed by soil and foliage before it joins the big blue. There is also a mini-bed between the path and the deck, giving water a more direct route into the ground. Full of fragrant Coyote Mint (Monardella villosa), it could be mistaken for simple beautification.
Mid-height foliage creates definition between the neighbors’ drive and the Shotgun House property. Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat (Eriogonum arborescens) and California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica) make lovely border-area companions.
Just to the south of the historic marker, river rock surrounds an almost imperceptible divot in the garden’s topography. That simple indentation is a bioswale, which also directs water into the ground.
Between the historic marker and raised signage, eye-poppingly colorful California native Yarrows (Achillea millefolium), Zauschernia (Epilobium canum), Milkweed, Red Buckwheat (Eriogonum grande rubescens) and Coyote Mint (Monardella villas) create playspace for birds and butterflies.
As the garden has matured, it adds to the charm of the architecture, surrounding the Shotgun House with color, life, energy and vitality.