Objective and Design
Locally native plants are an important part of sustainable gardening. They are well adapted to our dry summer/wet winter Mediterranean climate. They are also across the board wildlife friendly as they have co-evolved with the local pollinators, insects, birds, and other animals.
At the demonstration garden, we are showcasing those native plants that grow locally and are “garden worthy”. We want visitors to see the great diversity there is in these plants, which is much much larger than the stock at standard nurseries would suggest. We are specifically choosing plants for their aesthetics and, in most cases, their low water use. Some plants using regular water are also included, as representative of plants that can be grown closer to a house in fire prone areas.
In tune with the goal of sustainable gardening, the native plant garden is also hoping to show that rain runoff is a resource that can be captured and used on-site to a great degree. The native plant garden is completely pesticide and fertilizer free, showing an additional advantage of using native plants.
The goal of the garden is to inspire people to include more natives in their own gardens, and to see that they do not need to give up beauty when creating a low water use, wildlife friendly, natural foothill yard. The garden will also be used to show people how to care for native plants, with special consideration given to types of mulch used, and watering schedules used during establishment and later as a mature garden.
Learn more about the Native Garden Educational Points
Native Garden Plant List
Here is a complete plant list for our Native Plants Garden
Many wildflowers have re-seeded nicely from last year, with a bright display of poppies, globe gilia, and the current star of the show- Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia amoena). We are letting them grow long enough to set seed, at which point we will lay some of the dry stalks down in areas of the garden we want to have wildflowers next year. The dry stalks may also be good for nests and homes for native bees and other insects.
Our first watering of the season was May 15, followed by a watering June 5, for about 2/3 of the plants. They will be hand watered every 3-4 weeks this summer, while another 1/3 or so will not be watered at all. There are 7 plants that will receive water once every two weeks. The plants are now established so we’ve been able to cut back the watering!