LA Pines : Design Challenge

Photo © Xiao Hu and Carol Herley

Design Challenge takes photos of tricky spots in people’s yards and puts them out there for advice from the professionals at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and from our broad audience of participants, some of whom have some serious wildlife gardening credentials (just check out our Featured Sites for proof).

The Details

Location: Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA
Eco-Region: California Coastal Chaparral Forest and Shrub Province
Planting Zone: 10b
Learn more about this place by reading it’s Local Resources Page.

This site gets 4 hours of direct morning sun in the summer, less in the winter when the sun is lower on the horizon. The soil is dry in the summer and wet during the rainy season from February to May. It is below several very tall trees, Eucalyptus and Pine, so there are lots of leaves. The owner would like this to be a better place for wildlife that doesn’t look so bare.

Weba Garretson

Photo ©

Cornell Says:
The bare ground in this site looks like prime real estate for ground nesting pollinators. Add in some structure and color to attract bees and butterfly’s by locating taller flowering plants towards the back near the trees and putting shorter species up front. To work with the dry, sandy soil and falling leaf debris, plant upright, clumping flowers like Sisyrinchium bellum, Penstemon heterophyllus and Baileya multiradiata at intervals of several feet from each other. This will provide nectar and open space for ground nesters and will also allow falling leaves to settle in between.