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South Laguna Community Garden

By Ann Christoph Landscape Architect ASLA

Grand opening, December 6, 2009.
Photo courtesy of Tony Bisson
Rain bird
Belgard Came America

In 2005 the South Laguna Civic Association (SLCA) formed a garden committee to look for a garden site to replace a well-loved garden that had to be removed because the property was sold. In 2009 the committee found there was a new property owner where the original garden had been. He was willing to loan the property for a community garden. Ann Christoph, Landscape Architect, who served and helped steer the committee, provided landscape design and city processing management as a pro bono project.

The shed was relocated from North Laguna, about six miles away. Originally in a grove in Anaheim, the shed was moved to Laguna in the early 1900s. Now it has a new home.
Photo courtesy of Greg O'Loughlin

Preliminary work included negotiating a written agreement with the owner, arranging for insurance, designing a garden layout and obtaining a temporary use permit from the city. Community meetings were organized and prospective gardeners agreed to write the rules and application forms.

Planting the first box resulted in an impromptu lesson from Ruben Flores, owner of Laguna Nursery.
Photo courtesy of Greg O'Loughlin

Self-Sustaining Project
Community volunteers installed the garden in two and a half months. Volunteers were invited to apply for a garden box, with the fee being the cost of the box and soil, plus a $50 yearly membership. All of the 30 boxes were spoken for and there is now a waiting list. With gardeners' fees and donations, the project is self-sustaining. Construction expenditures totaled $8000, all donated.

The lot was terraced by hand, but support was needed for the downhill side. Rocks were donated for this revetment, and placed by volunteers. Ninety percent of the wall was laid in one day.
Photo courtesy of Ann Christoph

Many Thanks
Thanks go to the sponsoring organization, South Laguna Civic Association, Ann Christoph, landscape architect, along with Morrie Granger, retired university professor and Bill Rihn, president of SLCA. Ruben Flores of Laguna Nursery encouraged, advised and donated many garden necessities. Donor Paul Tran, the property owner, gave permission to use the property for the garden. Geoff and Julie Beckham donated a shed. Tri-State Materials donated the rocks. Stewarts Landscape, Laguna Asphalt Paving and so many more donated and volunteered their time to make this community garden a success.

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October 15, 2019, 10:16 pm PDT

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