Magical Garden

Food Forest Keepers: Laura

I purchased my home in 1997. The front yard was a traditional front yard of grass, a tree and foundation plants. After several years of off and on drought, my front yard and my pocketbook needed changes.

In 2017 a friend asked if I would join her at workshop hosted by Sustainable Solano. This workshop was fantastic. The speakers spoke about expanding single community gardens into food forest yards thoughout the community. Reclaiming water from the roof by installing swales from the downspouts and diverting greywater from the washers were some water-saving techniques discussed. Also, the use of native plants throughout the landscape was another water-saving option. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and I totally agreed with the concept.

Site Details

Installation Date:

May 2019


900 square feet

Sun Exposure:

8 hours



Number of Swales:


Secondary Water:

Lawn Conversion


Roofwater Diverted to Swales

Total annual water impact:

70,648 gallons


Designer: Kathleen Huffman

Plant List:


Apple (Honey Crisp), Cherry (Lapins), Lemon (Meyer), Lime (Bearss) and Pomegranate

Coreipsis (Early Sunrise), Goji Berry, Lavender (Munstead), Pineapple Guava, Pineapple Sage, Raspberry (Fall Gold, Wilamette, Canby), Rosemary (Trailing and Tuscan), Salvia (Bees Bliss, Greggi, Chamaedryoides, Wendy’s Wish), Scabiosa (Kudo Pink), Service Berry

Achillea (Moonshine), Agastache (Ambrosia, Blue Boa, Golden Jubilee, Peachy Keen), Blanket Flower, Borage, Dragons Head, Feverfew, Green Globe Aritichoke, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass,
Lemon Thyme, Mexican Marigold, Pepino Dulce, Penstemon (Cabrillo Purple, Firebird), Rhuarb, Scarlet Monkey Flower, Tree Collard, Yarrow


Malabar Spinach


It took me two years to take the plunge to convert my front yard into a food forest — the beginning of my “Magical Garden.” It was the best thing I ever did. It was a two-weekend project to transform my front yard. When the project was done my yard had transformed from a lawn to the following: an apple tree, a cherry tree, a pomegranate tree, a lemon tree, and a lime tree. Along with several varieties of tomatoes, green and yellow squash, string beans, cantaloupe, Chinese eggplant, cucumbers, lemon cucumber, spinach, several strawberry and raspberry, and a few more. The pollinators plants were scattered throughout the yard, and brought in bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Magical Garden Slideshow

Magical Garden

Vision for the Future:

This was such a fun project. I am amazed how much my neighbors enjoyed all the fresh fruits and vegetables.

David Shaw Launches Fairfield Sustainable Backyard Program