Garden Tour in Mar Vista

At first look, the neighborhood of Mar Vista looks like many other West Side communities. Local coffee shops, weekly farmers markets and laid back, friendly residents are staples.

What sets Mar Vista apart is its citizens burning desire to green from within.

Garden Showcase Logo no date

With permission from the neighborhood council, Mar Vista created its own green committee, and that was just the beginning. Flash forward, the Green Commitee hosts a booth at the Farmer’s market where it invites environmental educators to enlighten citizens weekly, was selected to be a pilot community in the Rain Barrel Harvesting project, hosted a neighborhood water wise expo with Ed Begley, Jr. as the featured key note speaker and got the council to fund the Santa Monica based nonprofit Sustainable Works environmental education course to come teach the residents of Mar Vista further ways to go green.

But perhaps the most impressive accomplishment so far is the switch from traditional grass lawns to drought tolerant gardens. In fact, so many residents have willingly chosen to create water wise landscapes, that community organizers created a free self-guided garden tour to showcase 80 homes in the community this week.

On Sunday, April 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. homeowners will be outside, available to speak about their gardens and share their experiences on their gardening transformations. Many homes have also decided to host community organizations such as LA Storm Water and the Surfrider Foundation at their homes during the tour as well. Expect to see California native plants, edible gardens, green patio decks and rain barrels all working together to create something more meaningful than your average lawn.

Taking a preview tour last week I can certainly tell you it is worth your time to see these beautiful, unique gardens and be inspired by the little green neighborhood that could and in fact does green oh so well.

If you want to go on the tour download your free self guided maps here and here. Learn more information at