Garden Tour 2012

California Native Collection

Some people collect coins or baseball cards or comic books, but this homeowner collects PLANTS! Due to her love for California Natives and other Mediterranean plants, this garden is home to over 60 different trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses.

The garden has a very natural and aesthetic feel. Plants are allowed to grow in their natural forms in a dense cover among one another. A network of recycled concrete paths wind through the garden allowing the owner and visitors an opportunity to admire the plant collection up close. Joints between the concrete are filled with clumps of groundcover and glass pebbles which add an unexpected glint of color and shine in the garden.

Our winged friends, both birds and butterflies, are fond of this garden too! Birdfeeders are scattered throughout to invite birds to visit and feed. Species such as Ribes, Salvia, Stachys, Epilobium and Manzanita attract hummingbirds to feed and pollinate. And, plants such as Achillea, Artemisia, Ceanothus, Erigeron, Eriogonum, Ribes and Salvia provide food and habitat for various butterfly species.
The edible landscape has been introduced here too. The homeowner says, “I figured if I’m going to water it, I might as well get something from it!” Fuji Apple, Cara Cara Orange and Pomegranate ‘Wonderful’ provide fruit throughout the year.

This garden is an example of two ‘river-friendly’ maintenance practices that should be noted. The first is allowing leaf litter to accumulate and provide a natural mulch layer. For many this may seem a ‘messy’ practice, but instead leaving some (if not all) leaf litter to naturally decompose returns nutrients to the soil, keeps weeds down and helps to retain moisture in the soil. Irrigation is the second practice worthy of discussion… there is none! There is no automatic irrigation system in this garden…not even drip irrigation! Spring rains provide adequate moisture into the summer months. And, in the summer the homeowner will periodically use a garden hose to deep soak the beds.

This collection of California natives demonstrates all 7 principles of river-friendly landscaping!

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