Santa Monica resident Suzanne Jett hopes the popularity of xeriscape gardens continues to grow despite the recent rainfall. Jett is a docent for the city of Santa Monica and has conducted xeriscape/water-wise garden tours for two years.
The tours, held every other Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through June, highlight some of Santa Monica's most innovative private gardens. The tours are free to residents of Santa Monica. Non-residents can take the tours for $10.
"The best way for the public to appreciate a variety of garden designs is to see xeriscape gardens," she said. "And to have someone identify and discuss characteristics of plants and principles of xeriscape design."
While a student at Cal Poly Pomona, Jett discovered an interest in using plants as a tool in the landscape design of gardens. After graduating with a degree in park administration 15 years ago, she established her own business on the Westside as a design contractor with a specialty in xeriscape design. Through her business, she has tried to educate individuals in the value of using plant materials suited for Southern California's climate.
"There is a lack of knowledge, and we have periodic droughts," she said. "It is important to educate the public about the need for habitat restoration in urban areas."
Xeriscape gardens rely on conservation practices for the urban landscapes and plants such as wild lilacs, aloe vera, coffeeberry plants and pindo palms that thrive on minimal amounts of water, she said. Using these types of plants in landscape design not only conserves water but also reduces green waste sent to local landfills.
"These tours are important because people are inspired to do creative, wonderful, xeriscape gardens," she said.
Ken Bash was named the winner of the 12th International Imitation Hemingway Competition sponsored by Harry's Bar and American Grill in Century City.
Bash, one of more than 2,000 entrants, is a horticulturist and screenwriter. For his efforts, the Malibu resident received a round-trip ticket to Florence, Italy, and a dinner in that city.
The Brentwood Area Chamber of Commerce and Brentwood Village Chamber of Commerce awarded its 1992 Citizen of the Year to Jule Lamm, an optometrist, and Harold Lassoff, owner of Brent-Air Pharmacy.
The two longtime Brentwood businessmen were honored at the 26th Annual Honorary Mayor's Ball held at the Bel Air Country Club in Bel-Air on March 21.
Santa Monica resident Timothy Lappen has been elected board president of the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank.
Lappen, president of Lappen Reality & Investment Corp. and of counsel to the law firm of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro, graduated from UC Berkeley and UCLA Law School. He is a trustee and vice president of the board of UCLA Law School Alumni Assn.
The food bank channels surplus food through a network of more than 630 charitable agencies to help feed more than 260,000 people weekly in the Los Angeles area including St. Joseph's Center, Ocean Park Community Center, SOVA-West and Clare Foundation.
USC presented James Birren and Melville Branch with Distinguished Emeriti Awards at the university's annual Academic Honors Convocation ceremony March 10.
Birren, professor emeritus of psychology and gerontology, and Branch, professor emeritus of urban and regional planning, live in Pacific Palisades.
Members of the Beverly Hills High School newspaper Highlights recently captured the Los Angeles County "On-the-Spot" Write-Off held at Cal State University at Northridge last month.
Winners include Marisa Pick, Amanda Goldberg, Alex Breen, Sara Myers, Judy Schwartz and Jon Weinback. Also earning points in the competition were Evan Klinger and Gina Balian.
Competitors were given a live story presentation in categories such as sports, news and editorial writing and then had one hour to write a story. They will compete in the All-Southern California "On-the-Spot" Write-Off on April 25 in Oceanside.
The Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Area recently honored Susan Wagner, a deputy to City Councilwomen Ruth Galanter.
Wagner was feted for helping implement community-based policing programs and setting up neighborhood watch groups in the Westchester, Playa del Rey, Mar Vista, Del Rey and Venice areas.
She was presented with a plaque by Pacific Area Capt. Jan Carlson at a police-community luncheon March 25 at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Westchester.