A Smart Garden

      more than just a pretty space


"What exactly is A Smart Garden?"

  • drought-tolerant
  • sustainable
  • organic
  • low-maintenance
  • edible
  • native
  • butterfly-friendly
  • a hummingbird haven
  • a wildlife habitat
  • beautiful

more than just a pretty space.


A Smart Garden's mission is to encourage people to establish more sustainable, organic gardens so that their impact on the greater local & global environments is a positive one, while reducing the amount of maintenance and water that those yards require, thereby enabling folks to just get out there and enjoy their own natural environments to the fullest.


A Smart Garden was founded in 2015 by Floral & Garden Designer Cari Vega in response to the severe drought facing Southern California.  With new water restrictions being instituted by then-Governor Jerry Brown's Executive Order, Vega knew she was in a position to help Southern California residents save water by updating or completely redesigning their water-thirsty lawns and gardens.  You can check out garden design clients' feedback here.

In 2017, Ms. Vega opened A Smart Garden retail nursery in Downtown Ventura, just off Main Street, with the goal of providing local gardeners with climate-appropriate plants, organic gardening materials, and educational gardening classes.  After the Thomas Fire of December 2017, with the neighborhood sustaining the loss of hundreds of homes, businesses in the downtown Main Street corridor suffered significant economic losses, with some businesses calling it the worst in 25 years.  At the end of 2018, with just 1 home in the neighboring hillsides having been rebuilt, A Smart Garden retail nursery was forced to close it's doors permanently.  You can check out customer feedback on the nursery here.

Throughout her career in horticulture, Ms. Vega has taught dozens of gardening classes and workshops on topics ranging from landscape design to succulent wreath-making.  As of 2019, Ms. Vega's focus is on continuing to spread the joy of gardening by hosting more, fun, informative gardening classes and workshops.  You can check out gardening student's feedback here.