A hawk glides silently overhead, above the top of a Eucalyptus tree. Below, the Canyon is bejeweled with splashes of yellow wildflowers. The wind is high and the wind chimes sing. "Bringing Nature Home" by Douglas Tallamy sits on my garden reading bench, and I reflect how lucky I am that I don't have to bring nature home here in the Santa Monica Mountains. Nature is already at my doorstep. All I have to do is "get out of the way," let Nature alone, let things grow wild, and watch the story unfold.
One of the most important things for me is keeping chemicals out of the garden. I never use pesticides. Instead of chemical fertilizers, I compost. I purposely did not put in a water-needy lawn. Instead, I created a small garden next to the house for my Roses, Iris and Herbs. They get the water that the lawn would have taken.. actually they take less. The rest of my water goes to the Citrus trees and vegetable garden.
As a result of being pesticide free and letting nature be, I can delight in seeing Quail walk through my vegetable beds, in hearing the endless chatter of new baby wrens that have nested in my utility box (somehow!), and in watching the squirrels chase each other up and down the trees.