top of page

Backyards Tour

Sunday April 16, 2023 
from 10am-2p

These locations are outdoor only
Addresses will be shared with tour registrants on Wednesday April 12

Can our yards and gardens help heal the earth?

We believe the answer is a resounding “yes!” and we invite you to learn from San Diego homeowners who have taken on the challenge.

We are showcasing three properties with yards that are making a positive impact in unique and creative ways.

Gordon Residence

Scripps Ranch

*This home is open from 10am to noon only

See how one homeowner was able to stabilize a steep hillside, provide fire protection, conserve water and regenerate soil using native plants and hugelkultur.


Note: This location is open from 10am to noon only. Presentations will be offered at 10am and 11am. Wear appropriate footwear if you wish to walk up the steeper slopes.


In 1986, a brush management zone was established around this housing development and after that, yearly weed-whipping created the ideal environment for invasive, flammable grass.  The homeowner managed to get the weed whipping stopped in 2009 and began to replace the non-native weeds.


Local native shrubs provide superior slope stabilization because of their tough, extensive, and deep roots.  Extensive horizontal webs of native roots hold the critical top layer of soil together to maintain the hill’s stability. 


A hugelkulture bed captures rainwater, increases soil aeration and provides ongoing nutrition for plants. The best plants from San Diego's rich plant diversity have produced an incredibly attractive, diverse, and robust native habitat - including a dead grass backyard that has become a meadow of local wildflowers.

Syren Residence


Learn how a “zero waste” family of five has produced 70% of their food on a 700 sq foot plot - with plenty to share with friends and neighbors.


This backyard garden demonstrates the many ways that growing our own food benefits the environment:  by saving water, reducing “food miles” and food waste, and building healthy soil.   And these homeowners have taken things a few steps further, by gardening zero waste style.  This means avoiding sending anything to a landfill and living according to the following principals: reduce, refuse, reuse, rot and recycle.


Clever reuse and upcycling eliminates the use of plastic, significantly reduces garden waste, and saves money.  Insect pests are controlled with castile soap and essential oils. Home composting enriches the soil, helps it retain moisture, and suppresses plant diseases and pests.

Pool to Pond Residence

La Mesa

Check out the ultimate in re-purposing:  In an effort to create a native plant garden to mimic local nature spaces and encourage pollinators and other wildlife by providing habitat, this homeowner converted a pool to a pond which now attracts many birds, bats, dragonflies and other wildlife. It provides a water source for drinking, bathing and breeding and is a safe haven for many species.


The back and front yard landscaping are approximately 90% native plantings, watered by  rain water collected in 4 cement containers totaling 1000 gallons and 3 plastic totes totaling 1000 gallons. Plants are irrigated with recycled shower water, therefore little to no municipal water is used for irrigation. The home also has a solar array, and runs close to net zero energy every month. 

bottom of page