Ed Begley, Jr. is wearing what can most accurately be described as his uniform, a blue dress shirt unbuttoned to reveal a white t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts and Crocs with socks. Not your typical Emmy Award-nominated actor outfit, but neither is his current behavior. He is standing on the sidewalk outside his house, showing recent improvements he made to his parkway, that tiny strip of city-owned land between sidewalk and street. Begley, who lives on a corner lot, removed the resource-sucking swatches of grass and laced new gravel-edged, native plots with efficient drip-irrigation. When he moved into this home in 1988, he says, it was the same story. He tore out the lawn and added drought-tolerant plants like rosemary, a fragrant sprig of which he rolls between his fingers as he identifies the trees in his orchard of apples, figs and loquats. "The apples are not quite ready," he says, bounding to the far corner of the yard. "But the loquats are really good! Here, help yourself to a few." Begley will be sharing this same zest for sustainable living with the audience at this year's Dwell on Design.
June 11, 2010