Yeah, okay, I am absolutely terrible at keeping up with this blog. BUT I have made a lot of the paperwork-y type of progress on the native garden, so here we go!
After I and my good friend Nikki finished the two week workshop by Green Gardens Group (during which my fear of roots came up and I was made fun of it for it, but you know what, I’ve accepted it and I’ll just get my friends to touch all the creepy little roots), I ended up applying for a free native garden design from LADWP. It’s an interesting process, in which you don’t meet with the designer until after he or she has already designed your garden. In lieu of talking to them, you fill out all the information on the website (https://ladwp.cafriendlylandscaping.com/): you can pick what plants you like, and examples of other gardens that you like as well. You fill out colors you do or don’t like, and what kind of water saving feature you’re willing to do (rain garden, rain barrel, rock garden, etc).
The best part of this whole thing was choosing which plants I liked. There was so much more variation than I had expected (searchable by water needs, type, name, etc), and I think I ended up choosing over a hundred plants and trees, which was really far too many – I would only end up having 8 of them in my final design.
When my designer came to my house, she already had the plans with her. She did need to remeasure my lawn a bit; it had changed since the last aerial photos were taken, and so minor adjustments to the plan needed to be made. For the most part, everything remained the same. Although the appointment was for two hours, we were done in half an hour. The plan even came with a cost analysis, which is super helpful in just knowing how much everything is.
A few weeks later, the final plan landed in my mailbox, along with an email from LADWP with digital plans and explicit instructions on how to complete the garden.
BUT WAIT. The paperwork continues! I still needed to apply for the turf replacement rebate program so that part of my lawn would be paid for. This application (through SoCalWaterSmart) was much easier than the design application, but it was made even easier by the plan that I already had. The pre-approval came fairly quickly, and the final rebate doesn’t come until the project is complete, to make sure all the guidelines are met.
Since then, LADWP has sent me a few emails to make sure that I’m staying on track, as well as a list of resources, for necessary supplies such as free mulch and even free trees!
But now the paperwork is over (for now), and now I must recruit labor to dig out my lawn. I have six months and counting to complete this project to get the rebate, and now more planning begins!