Gardening for Bahl Patio Homes

From the 1960s through the 1980s the Bahl family built over 400 homes in the South Bay. The average lot was 50×100. The homes used a zero-lot-line design where your bedroom wall was your neighbor’s sidewall. The key design feature was indoor/outdoor transition: the homes often had 50% of the exterior walls as glass. There was an interior courtyard; often a front courtyard; a narrow sideyard; and a narrow backyard. The lot walls were 9 feet high. You got privacy and the sunlight would transition throughout the day.

Gardening for a Bahl patio home can be challenging: The high walls and sliding glass doors reflect sunlight especially on south-facing walls. The high walls often have corners and sides that get little sunshine. There are potential drainage problems due to most of the sideyard and backyard being paved and the fact that the flat roofs over the bedrooms drain into a few areas.

Despite these challenges, you can have a lush yard


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