A Smart Garden

      more than just a pretty space

A Smart Garden teaches gardening classes and workshops throughout Southern California, with a focus on drought-tolerance, organics & sustainability.


"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.


Our mission is to help people create their own

low-maintenance, breathtaking gardens that

positively impact local & global environments.


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.   The Thomas Fire of December 2017 resulted in the neighborhood sustaining the loss of hundreds of homes, with businesses in the downtown Main Street corridor suffering significant economic losses as a result; some local businesses called 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 many gardening classes and workshops on dozens of 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 engaging, informative gardening classes and workshops.  You can check out gardening student's feedback here.