Going Native Garden Tour 2019

Butterfly House Native Garden (22 photos)

Garden #44, Sunnyvale


Showcase Features: This new garden has been installed in the winter of 2017/18, but the plants grew well and are already well-established for their young age. From the front yard's old landscape, only a southern magnolia street tree and a mature Japanese maple have been retained; everything else was replanted with California natives. The inviting front yard features an open design, with well-spaced plants. On the right-hand side of the landscape, a dry creek-channeling storm water from 2 downspouts into the garden--runs across the yard, starting and ending at spectacular clumps of the blue grama grass "Blonde Ambition," sporting seed-heads resembling eyelashes. The creek is flanked with clumps of California fuchsia "Calistoga" and Cleveland sage "Winnifred Gilman". Under the shade of the Japanese maple, several clumps of Canyon Snow Douglas' iris and blue-eyed grass can be found. The left-hand side of the front yard features three big clumps of deer grass and a young coast live oak underplanted with hummingbird sage, as a focal point. Under the oak is a small green bench for resting and enjoying the garden. Skylark Ceanothus is used as an informal hedge, while Carmel Sur manzanita edges the garden bed, accented by small rocks and blue-eyed grass. A pink hairy honeysuckle vine, trained on a wire trellis, has already made a progress towards covering that fence. The parking strip has been updated with a young blue oak on the left, and the 2 trees (oak and magnolia street tree) are underplanted with Idaho fescue, CA buckwheat, Island snapdragon, and foothill penstemon.

Other Garden Attractions: The entire yard is mulched with wood chips obtained by shredding the wood of the four large non-native trees that were removed for the installation of the new landscape. During the dry months, gray water from 2 showers and 3 sinks, on the right side of the house, is used to irrigate 3 fruit trees. The laundry-to-landscape gray water system is utilized on the left side of the house. In the backyard, slightly raised beds are populated with a variety of shrubs and perennials: snowberries, toyon, and Eve Case coffeeberry alternating with Old La Rochette and Island alum root, Douglas iris and hummingbird sage. A young valley oak was planted in fall, 2018, to eventually provide afternoon shade on the west side of the home. The focal point of the back patio is a western redbud, underplanted with lower-growing Valley Violet ceanothus, red flowered buckwheat, and CA poppies. A Louis Edmunds manzanita and 3 mountain mahogany, underplanted by Point St. George aster, will offer screening in the right corner of the back yard.

Gardening for Wildlife: A bird bath, 3 CA oaks (blue, valley and coast live), and many native shrubs attract insects and birds to the garden; in particular, CA fuchsias and sages attract hummingbirds during their long blooming season; these will be aided by snapdragon bushes, once they mature. Bees and butterflies are attracted to ceanothus, coffeeberry, CA asters, and long-blooming buckwheat flowers.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 1

Garden Size: 4350 sq.ft

Designer: Agi Kehoe Landscaping
Installer: EarthCare Landscaping

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#ButterflyHouse_GNGT (this garden)