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Commercial Gardens  •  Client: Reaney Design Company

Master gardener Geri Miller knelt beside a modest-sized plot brimming with a colorful array of flowers—soft pinks, bright reds and deep golds—delicately sifting through them as she talked.
“The pulp of the strawberries makes a very potent dye,” she said. “The beets make a very dark red dye. And the potatoes, when you harvest them, can be made into stamps.”
Sectioned off by wood planks, the “art supplies” garden is accompanied by three others of equal size yet varying vegetation. There’s a “traditional” garden, integrating edible plants with ornamental ones; a “drought-tolerant” garden, boasting lavender, thyme and oregano; and a “companion planting” garden, demonstrating how pairing together certain plants will hinder complications such as diseases and pests.

This patch of precisely planted greenery outside Reaney Design Company, an up-scale interior design shop on Manhattan Avenue, is just one of several on the boutique- and restaurant-lined stretch of downtown Manhattan Beach. And with the assistance, expertise and TLC of Miller, these gardens will continue to sprout in the most unexpected places.  The unmanaged land beside Reaney Design Center “was wild and filled with weeds, but it had a lot of potential,” said owner Mary Reaney Hocking. “With this garden, Geri created an additional room. It allows for an extension of how you live and in our case, how we work.” Manhattan Beach Patch, Aug 30, 2010

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