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History

In a little over two years we completed the installation of the entire South Laguna Community garden.  It has become a garden park, enjoyed informally by Laguna residents and visitors.  Classes and community events are also opportunities to enjoy the ambiance and lessons of the garden.

The entire garden project was completed by volunteers, with many donations.  It is truly amazing how a weedy vacant lot was transformed into a thriving garden, through the committed involvement of local families.

 

A Little Background +

The first garden was begun in 2002 by Ali Taghavi at the corner of Eagle Rock and Virginia. Ali and friends Jodi Levine, Deanna Moore and others invited the community to participate and had open garden days, with music, demonstrations and exposure to the joys and benefits of local gardening. This continued until 2004 when the property was sold and the garden dismantled.

The garden idea, however, did not vanish with the garden. The South Laguna Civic Association set up a committee to look for a site to establish another garden. It was this committee, particularly its chairman Morrie Granger, who kept the idea of the garden alive. After several years of searching for a good location and a willing property owner, the site of the original garden was purchased by a new owner, Mr. Paul Tran. Morrie asked and Mr. Tran graciously agreed to allow the South Laguna Civic Association to use this property as a community garden without charge. The South Laguna Civic Association Garden Committee obtained the Temporary Use Permit (July, 2009) and Building Permits with the fees waived by the City Council.

We held our first garden organizing meeting August 8, 2009 at the home of Morrie and Barbara Granger. The Grangers have been enthusiastic leaders and generous donors toward making the garden a success. Ann Christoph, landscape architect, drew the plans and coordinated construction. The South Coast Water District donated the water meter. Ruben Flores of Laguna Nursery contributed the plumbing, gates, shrubs, vines, the vertical garden, and his ideas and encouragement. Tri-State Materials, Stewarts Landscaping and Briseño Landscape donated rocks and labor for the rock revetments. Geoff and Julie Beckham of north Laguna donated a wonderful shed. It seems this shed originally served as an orchard caretaker’s bunk house in Anaheim where Disneyland is now. It came to Laguna around 1917 via a team of horses. This last move to our garden was accomplished by Laguna Beach Towing, and volunteers–John Keith, Morrie Granger, Phil Barbour, and Tony Smith.

 

 We had many Saturday work days at the garden beginning with the weeding on August 15, 2009, and finishing with the completion of thirty garden boxes on the upper terrace on October 31, 2009.  Enthusiastic volunteers did an amazing job of carpentry, fence installation, terracing and rock placement.
Gardens grew and our Grand Opening on December 6, 2009 was a success!
With the steps complete we went on to welcome gardeners to the lower level.  The last 23 garden beds were completed in 2011.

 

See the photo gallery page for photos from building the garden, and the grand opening.