Your Next Front Yard
Given the new reality of climate change, reduced water availability and the trend toward removing front lawns and replacing with low-water gardens, the Hancock Park Garden Club (HPGC) decided to undertake a study to reconsider the concept of "Your Next Front Yard."
As a historic neighborhood developed primarily in the 1920s and 1930s, the greater Hancock Park area is known for its well-built and architecturally-varied historic architecture. Fine homes line the tree-lined streets, showcasing architecture of Mediterranean, Spanish Colonial, French Normandie, English Tudor and American Colonial styles, to name a few. Originally, the landscape surrounding these homes was designed simply and with plantings popular at the time they were built; primarily featuring wide open lawns with a tree or two, and low base plantings in front of the homes. This provided a ''park-like' landscape with open views that also showcased the diverse architectural styles of the area.
In the past decades, landscape trends have changed and the once ubiquitous wide--open green spaces in front of our homes have been chopped into private yards, sometimes surrounded by fences or shrubbery, turned into circular driveways, or removed completely and replaced by individual gardens.
In 2017 the HPGC funded a study, which is now underway, to research the history of the neighborhood's landscape through researching of historic photos, to observe and document current conditions, and to create a dialogue and guidelines about the direction the neighborhood might oonsider moving in this era of drought. The illustrative 'guidelines' are expected to offer some ideas on design and plant material to local residents who may be considering changing their landscapes, and provide some continuity to our urban landscape and reference to the past.
The study will be shared with the community through neighborhood meetings, a printed pamphlet, and a more detailed digital publication of the study online. Stay tuned: "Your Next Front Lawn" will be published in the fall of 2017.