Mother Earth Living

From Eyesore to Enchantment: A Laguna Beach Garden

In Laguna Beach, a drainage ditch is transformed into a paradise.

Sculptures of plucky women, created by Becky’s late mother, Betsy Ogilby, serve as benevolent guardians of the joyously ­tangled foliage.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
Fragrant lavender greets visitors who climb flagstone and river rock steps bordered by boulders that serve as a retaining wall.
Photo by Stephen Dabrowski
Artful decoration on the outside of the house creates a gracious atmosphere in the garden. Here a sacred carving from Asia is displayed beside a stone and shell mosaic backdrop for a rain chain.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
After: Chris and Becky’s lot has been transformed into a beautiful and lush natural landscape in which their strawbale and woodframe home nestles serenely.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
Before: Before Chris Prelitz and his first wife, Heidi, began planting their natural gardens, their barren lot featured a large, unattractive drainage ditch as its centerpiece.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
What used to be an ugly drainage ditch is now a serene garden meditation spot—presided over by St. Francis.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
A mixture of native and drought-tolerant plants thrive in the garden, which is now a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Sycamore and elderberry trees create shade, and white sage covers the hillside. When it rains, a creek meanders down the slope. Red trumpet flowers tempt hummingbirds and butterflies. Guavas, lemons, and mandarin oranges beg to be picked.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
A tempting day bed on the deck overlooking the garden invites mid-day naps or sleeping under the stars on warm summer nights.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
This gulley guides runoff down the hillside.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
Nick the kitty prowls the wilds of his own private jungle.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
Fruit from the strawberry guava tree is part of Chris and Becky’s edible landscaping. It’s one of the first trees planted on the property before the home was built and bears delicious fruit year-round.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski
Love in bloom ... Chris and Becky embrace in the garden where they were married among flowers, fruits and fragrant herbs.
Photo By Stephen Dabrowski

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