Santa Monica announces winners of contest to design sustainable demonstration gardens


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A month after I reported on the city of Santa Monica’s design competition for three sustainable demonstration gardens, the public has voted on the three designs to be constructed on side-by-side plots on Airport Avenue.

The winners:

Marianne Simon of Poetic Plantings was noted for her design’s permeable paving, screening, recycled materials and combined Mediterranean, California and edible plant palette, all pictured above.


Francesca Corra of Dirt Diva Designs won praise for a design, right, that included rainwater catchment and harvesting.

Peter Jensen of Gaudet Design Group and Doug Shemer of Groundswell drew notice for lawn alternatives and bermed plantings, below.

Before constructing the gardens, Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment will be challenging irrigation manufacturers to come up with efficient watering systems for the plans. After a panel of experts judges the irrigation designs in July, construction of the gardens will proceed later this year.

All nine finalists in the garden competition are available for viewing and the designs can be downloaded by the public from the city.

-- Emily Green

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