Garden Tour 2013

Woodland Wonderful

This front yard previously suffered from a case of ‘turf-in-the-shadeitis’. However, after diligent efforts on the part of the homeowner it has successfully completed its ‘garden rehab’ and been born anew as this wonderful woodland garden. The old grass was not manually removed, but was instead returned to the soil using a simple and effective technique utilizing newspaper. The homeowner laid multiple layers of newspaper (black ink only as colored ink may contain heavy metals) over the grass and then covered these biodegradable materials with mulch, to hold the layers in place, keep in moisture, and add organic matter. The elimination of light causes chlorophyll to break down and the smothered turf dies. The homeowner immediately planted through the newspaper layers and to the underlying soil. Within six months the organic matter has been incorporated into the soil by earthworms and other organisms. With the turf gone the homeowner focused on creating a shade tolerant woodland garden utilizing many California Natives. Selections have been made with mature size of plant material in mind. With the exception of the shrubs planted along the walkway to provide a screen between properties, none of these plantings will require shearing or aggressive pruning to keep them in scale with space. The need for very little pruning and no mowing exemplifies the river-friendly principle, ‘less to the landfill’. Another plus of this garden is the abundant use of mulch and the choice to use smaller sized mulch material that is more aesthetically pleasing and in scale with the garden. (Garden Art provided by K’s Krazy Kreations, to purchase her work or for more information visit today’s festival or contact Kathy Barnum at

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