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Objectives and Design

Welcome to The Marsh, a man made freshwater wetland located within the Sherwood Demonstration Garden. The Marsh was planned to represent a natural water garden in Northern California. The marsh demonstrates effective and successful landscaping in a seasonally wet and dry location. We have selected plants for marsh health as well as plants that can withstand wet and dry conditions. We have encouraged natives while satisfying the need for ornamental. Although irrigation has been installed, established plants will tap into the ground water during summer months. Irrigation becomes a necessity during a drought to maintain a healthy marsh. The marsh water is supplied by an underground spring. Fresh water marshes are one of the most productive ecosystems on the earth. They can sustain an array of plants that in turn support a variety of wildlife within a wetland ecosystem. As a result, marshes sustain a diversity of life that is disproportionate with their size. In addition to the habitat value, fresh water marshes serve to mitigate flood damage and filter excess nutrients from surface runoff.

The marsh has a variety of soft-stemmed plants like sedges, grasses, bulrushes and wetland wildflowers. The Marsh is alive with native wildlife. To date some wildlife sightings include toads, frogs, blue heron, geese, mallard ducks, hawks and killdeer
The Marsh is an educational garden ready to assist the community with understanding ecosystems, sustainability, invasive and aquatic weeds, insects, mollusks and microbial and water borne disease. Marsh volunteers practice IPM, Integrated Pest Management when dealing with invasive species. We encourage the community to take a look at our educational points and to visit The Marsh.

Educational Points

  • Types of Marshes
    • Playa Lakes, Wet Meadows, Prairie Potholes and Vernal Pools
  • Seasonal water, ground water and flood mitigation
  • Ecosystem interaction
    • Wildlife attraction and food source
      • Integrating wildlife and aquatic wildlife
  • IPM Integrated Pest Management
    • Aquatic weeds
      • Microbial and water borne disease
      • Insect and mollusks

Marsh Plant List


Here is the complete plant list for the Marsh.

What's New!

Spring brings wildflowers to the Marsh. This year we have several new ones popping up; Tidy Tips and Baby Blue-eyes. Forsythia and Calla Lillies are also brightening up the shores of the Marsh.

Layia platyglossa, Tidy Tips
Layia platyglossa, Tidy Tips

Nemophila menziesii, Baby Blue-eyes
Nemophila menziesii, Baby Blue-eyes

Calla Lilly
Calla Lilly