Ocean Friendly Gardens
July 10 2013

Sunset Magazine Says Go Ocean Friendly

by Paul Herzog

Ocean Friendly Gardens continue to impress media outlets.  This time Sunset Magazine features an OFG box as part of a feature in the July issue (on newsstands now).

The “Home & Garden” spread (posted at right: page 1 above page 2) features a garden that essentially meets the OFG criteria. There’s a small write-up about OFG concepts and how they are encouraged along the west coast, a mention of surfrider.org, and tips for homeowners about the key elements of the garden.

A key take-away from the features is the targeted messaging, starting with the title: “Easy-care oasis.” While the garden is right on the beach (Cayucos is just north of Morro Bay, along the central coast of California), the title and sub-title suggest that the feature will “offer lessons for yards everywhere.” Those lessons include: less work, reduced water bill, no runoff, and a sense of place (“feel a part of the beach scene”). Like the OFG public service announcement says, “Less turf, more surf.”

What stands out is that hard surfaces with gaps in-between to let water from the roof slow, spread and sink before reaching the ocean. The landscape professional that was hired calls it “soft hardscape.”

One tiny thing to change: replace the pride-of-Madeira. Per the California Invasive Plant Council's info on this shrub, it is native to Madeira and the Canary Islands and "appears to spread slowly into established native plant communities" such as coastal California. Instead, one can use a native shrub that provides the privacy from neighboring houses sought by the Cayucos residents, and attract birds and bees.

Check out the full Sunset magazine article online here, or head to the nearest magazine stand to pick up the July issue of Sunset Magazine today. There are "before" pictures, too.