By Emily Glory Peters
Summer is nearly here and there are two likely outcomes for your yard—a crispy-brown lawn or something suspiciously green soaking up Los Angeles’ most precious resource: H20. Fortunately, Plant Goddess in Sierra Madre has a third alternative.
“I’ve always been about conserving water in the landscape, and when I learned about how much of our drinking water is wasted outdoors, I became an advocate,” says Kelley Hanna, owner of local landscaping company Plant Goddess. Determined to make a difference, Hanna has made sustainability a central focus behind her beautiful designs.
“There are so many elements to making a sustainable design—like planting 50 percent native plants to attract local pollinators (insects, butterflies, etc.), which in turn supports the life cycles of the birds, lizards and animals who eat the insects,” she explains. “Or you can use your roof to collect rainwater—just one inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square-foot roof can equal about 650 gallons of pure, free water that can be used for your landscape!”
Composting, mulching, planting trees, switching to permeable hardscapes, updating your irrigation system, using drought-tolerant ground covers instead of grass—implementing just a few of these changes can dramatically impact the amount of water saved over time. Plus, using an expert like Plant Goddess ensures the changes are aesthetically pleasing, too—which is what drew Hanna into landscaping in the first place.
“23 years ago I was very unhappy in my high-stress career in the garment industry, and on the weekend I would work in the garden as my therapy,” she explains. “I wound up going back to school to study horticulture—very intimidating in my 30’s to be surrounded by all these young college students!—and now am so lucky to have a have career that I actually love.”
Even with her degree (and a landscaping contractor’s license) under her belt, Hanna prefers to start each dreamy design with a simple sketch. From there, a suite of carefully selected experts assist with the heavy lifting to make her client’s vision a reality.
“Over time I’ve gathered excellent contractors whose trades include building decks, fences, steel planters, masonry walls, patios, driveways, etc.,” she says. “Everything I need for the execution of even the trickiest projects can be done with my great network of people that I have built over the last 12 years.”
From total yard makeovers to simple gardening changes, it’s all fulfilling for Hanna. Recently she’s taken to sprinkling her Plant Goddess know-how across Los Angeles through homeowner classes and talks, sharing tips on water-wise sustainability and its long-term effects.
“My favorite part is when someone tells me their new landscape has changed their lives. When you can take an unused outdoor space and turn it into a living space really shifts their world!” says Hanna. “With our climate, an outdoor living space should be a huge part of our day to day lives—and having birds, butterflies and pollinators join you makes it even more special.”
Plant Goddess Landscaping is located in Sierra Madre and services all of San Gabriel Valley. To learn more, contact the Plant Goddess herself Kelley Hanna at www.plantgoddess.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | (626) 355-3724 and get inspiration for your own sustainable getaway on Instagram @plantgoddesssierramadre.