Aoyagi native plant garden
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Aoyagi native plant garden

For 20 years, landscape designers Cassy and Kirk Aoyagi have proselytized the benefits of California native plants. Their personal garden in Tujunga is their most persuasive argument. 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Yoshi Aoyagi, 8, moves from the vernal pool, right, to the meadow in his Tujunga backyard.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The backyard before it was transformed. 

 (Zillow)

Before redoing the yard, the couple watched how their son Yoshi and dog Dara used the space. 

 (Cassy Aoyagi)

Dara in the mulch-filled yard before the privacy hedge was planted. 

 (Cassy Aoyagi)

The backyard before. 

 (Zillow)
Yoshi Aoyagi swings from a coast live oak.
 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The boulders were configured to accomodate the couple’s 8-year-old. 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa).

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Lacy Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Island Pitchers Sage (Lepechinia ragrans). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

“The meadow is my dream,” says Cassy Aoyagi. “I’ve always loved the pastoral look.”

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

California Mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Flannel Bush (Fremontadendron). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Catalina Cherry (Prunus lyonii). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Dara has a drink from the bird bath.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

California Sagebrush aka Cowboy Perfume (Artemisia Californica). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Coastal Sagewort.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Lewis Flax (Linum lewisii). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua). 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Family dog Dara rests on carex pansa, a lawn substitute that looks like traditional turf but requires much less water and maintenance.
 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

California Lilac. 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
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