Los Angeles mayor has large productive backyard
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti and his partner, Amy Elaine Wakeland, rely on their backyard garden at their home in Echo Park for a good deal of their produce.
By Frances Anderton
While the remodel was in process, Wakeland and Garcetti tilled the land. In addition to their own yard, the couple acquired two steep, unbuildable adjoining lots. With the help of Sean Femrite Environmental Design Studio, they are transforming this 19,000-square-foot yard into a full-blown productive garden. Wakeland, who was schooled in the arts of horticulture, canning, and bottling as a child in her native Indiana, has also built a “worm factory” in the yard: a half-food, half-paper tub in which worms merrily turn trash into rich compost.
She propels herself by rope up the 35-to-45-degree hill and points out the fruit trees, vegetables, and 22 perennial herbs that they harvest for their own table and for friends. They even trade fruits and vegetables with a fellow councilperson, Bill Rosendahl, for eggs from his chicken coop. “Last time I sent him a basket,” Wakeland recalls, “he announced it on the TV broadcast of a city council meeting.”