Going Native Garden Tour 2019

Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto Native Demonstration Garden (16 photos)

Garden #51, Palo Alto


While this garden is open all year round, visiting it during the tour day provides an opportunity to ask the docents about any particularly interesting plants or features.

Address: 505 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto (click the address to show it on a map).

Directions: From Hwy 101, take the exit 400C to San Antonio Rd. south, then turn right onto E Charleston Rd. Continue for about 0.6 mile; the garden will be on the right, just after passing Nelson Dr. (on the left). There is no parking in front of the church. Visitors can park across the street, or on Nelson or church parking lot is available with request for morning visitors to drive around and park in the exit driveway.

Showcase Features: This very appealing garden is in front of the Unitarian Universalist Church; part of the garden was done in 2014 and contains mature plants, the other part was done in 2018 and contains much younger plants. The garden has an open, manicured look. Before planting, the church formed a "Curb Appeal" committee that met for a year to decide what to replace massive juniper hedges with. Their philosophy: to be a part of the Web of Life and include locally native plants, insect- butterfly- and bird-friendly plants in a low-maintenance garden. The garden was designed with wildlife habitat in mind, and attracts various birds (western bluebirds have nested in nesting boxes in the garden, Bewick's wren has nested in the eaves, chestnut-backed chickadee probably nested in nest boxes, butterflies, bees, insects and lizards. Food, water, shelter, and nesting places are all provided. There's a shady, serene area with benches in front of the church, with mature redwoods, a madrone and a multi-trunk Chilopsis linearis "Burgundy".

Other Garden Attractions: Extensively mulched with compost, leaves and wood chips. Part of the garden was literally sheet-mulched - with cotton bedsheets. Compost was used to enrich the soil. THere's a labyrinth and a small fountain.

Gardening for Wildlife: Church members have been keeping lists of birds (28 species seen so far) and spiders (number unknown but they say the list is "extensive"); both lists are available on request. There's a bee house in which they regularly see bee larvae. Many butterflies have been seen but not listed, also eastern gray squirrels and a jackrabbit.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 5

Garden Size: 7,000 sq ft

Designer: 2018 section (east): Nancy Neff. 2014 section (west): Stephanie Morris
Installer: 2018 section: Shubha Landscape Design. 2014 section: Evergreen Landscaping

Click here to display the plant list in a printer-friendly format.

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#UUChurchPA_GNGT (this garden)