Garden Tour 2016

Whimsical & Water Wise

What was once a persistent Bermuda lawn with heavy clay soils has undergone sheet mulching and soil rehabilitation to provide a nourishing, permeable and sustainable site with a proliferation of native plantings and suburban wildlife habitat.

The planting theme in this garden is sages and other pollinator favorites, keeping to a low and cool palette. Swaths of plants were used for both visual impact and pollinator delight. Small trees and larger shrubs create multiple perches and cover for smaller birds.

A river-friendly landscape theme highlights the water management system designed to slow water flows from roofline to gutter. Rainfall is checked and reabsorbed into the soil via several permeability strategies: bioswales, a rain garden, rain barrels, rain chain and the permeable paving strips in the new driveway. In fact this garden shows no runoff onto the sidewalk until a storm event reaches three inches of rainfall or more.

The garden is irrigated using subsurface drip irrigation laid on a grid and a smart controller. The back side yard reveals a Laundry to Landscape greywater system to grow fruit trees and other moderate water use edibles (installed by GrowWater.org).

Water-wise hydrozoning is implemented. All front yard plants are low and very lowwater users with the exception of pots, rain garden and side yard edibles. Walnut shells are a local agricultural byproduct that provides a clean, neat, long lasting mulch.

The recycled concrete (a.k.a. Urbanite) from the old driveway was used to build the pathway, steps and garden wall. The new micro-patio behind a seat wall planter allows us to view wildlife visiting the raised plantings all year round. Recycled windshield glass (a.k.a. Kryptonite) is incorporated into the wall and other areas complementing the color scheme of the home, adding a sparkle of color and providing a glowing effect in the sunlight.

A collection of Mexican talavera pottery and figurines add whimsy and humor to this wonderful water-wise example of ‘greener’ gardening.


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