The Native/Environmental/Xeriscape/Temescal/Garden (N/E/X/T/Garden) shows visitors how diverse native and drought-tolerant plants can be grown organically, with minimal inputs, working beautifully in balance with nature. In 1988, Palisades Beautiful founded this as the Temescal Canyon Pacific Palisades Native Plant Garden and Xeriscape on 1/2 acre at the top of Temescal Canyon Park (under the auspices of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks [RAP]). About a decade later, it was abandoned to exotic invasive weeds and about a decade after that only 85 original specimens of 34 varieties survived – mostly native species throughout, but also several varieties of Australian, South African, and South American species in special sections at the north/top and south/bottom ends. In May of 2010, garden designer Michael Terry and community organizer Barbara Marinacci started leading volunteers on the last Saturday of each month (under the co-sponsorship of Palisades Beautiful and the Pacific Palisades Garden Club) in a successful effort to improve and expand the N/E/X/T/Garden to its current 3/4-acre size (with funding from RAP and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Turf Replacement Program). Thanks to community grants for plants (from the Pacific Palisades Woman's Club and the Pacific Palisades Garden Club), then many months of volunteer planting efforts, over 600 new specimens representing dozens of species (mainly broadleaf flowering evergreens) were brought in to improve this sustainability demonstration garden. As they become established, these plantings attract more and more wildlife – including native butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and songbirds – while using only one-tenth of the water consumed by the equivalent area of adjacent lawn. Since 2011, our ongoing 1200-year record drought has been providing a rigorous test of which species are most drought-tolerant (i.e. those that survived and are now thriving more and more over time) and which species are least drought-tolerant (i.e. those that expired and are being replaced with more robust varieties over time), so the N/E/X/T/Garden is teaching us how to garden even more sustainably than ever before. To see for yourself, please come visit the N/E/X/T/Garden at ~700 Temescal Canyon Road.
For specific information on the N/E/X/T/Garden and/or to arrange a tour, contact Michael G. Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Barbara Marinacci has since retired from this project, after more than seven years of dedicated service.) For additional insights into the N/E/X/T/Garden – on the California Native Plant Society website – click here.
You can help to improve the N/E/X/T/Garden by volunteering with us for an hour (or two, or three, etc.) on the last Saturday of any/every month between 9am and 4pm – bring drinking water, sun protection, and perhaps your favorite gardening hand tools (though we have some to share).
You can also help to improve the N/E/X/T/Garden with a donation to Palisades Beautiful – directed to the N/E/X/T/Garden with a note – by using the "Donate Button" below or by sending a check to: Palisades Beautiful, P.O. Box 1072, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. All or part of your gift to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Federal ID #51-0189729) may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution – please check with your tax advisor.