Gardens full of ideas on show in Mar Vista tour

Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase, a free tour of beauty and innovation, is Saturday

Mandatory water restrictions may be prompting gardeners to have second thoughts about their thirsty gardens and lawns, but for the homeowners in the Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase on April 25, water conservation is a way of life.

Curious about drip irrigation? Want to tear out your lawn but don't know how?

Expect an abundance of hands-on examples during the tour, presented by the Mar Vista Community Council.

The annual event is a terrific resource for sustainable gardening ideas. This year, more than 50 Mar Vista gardens will be divided into five walkable clusters. The gardens are open free of charge and will feature, among other things, beekeeping, drought-tolerant landscaping, berms, bioswales and water catchment systems.

Tour organizer Shelley Wiseman said these changes are long-term solutions, not quick fixes. "These will be the right plants for Southern California no matter what the future brings," Wiseman said. "We're knocked out by the creativity we see both from do-it-yourselfers and professional landscapers and by the variety of looks that are possible with climate-appropriate plantings. The gardens on the tour go a long way towards educating visitors that sustainable gardens in our Mediterranean climate don't all look alike."

Visit the tour website to find topics that interest you. Addresses for last year's tour are also listed if you want to investigate at another time (frontyards are easy to observe from the sidewalk without intruding on homeowners). The detailed site lists categories such as California natives, cactuses and succulents, chickens, edibles and solar power. Click on the topic that interests you to get a description of the relevant gardens, photos and addresses.

lisa.boone@latimes.com

7th Annual Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

Where: Mar Vista neighborhood in West L.A. Addresses online.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25

Cost: Free

Info: marvistagreengardenshowcase.blogspot.com/

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