Growing Natives Garden Tour 2012

Sundberg Garden (7 photos)

Garden #51, San Jose


Showcase Features: Skillfully designed by the homeowner (a long time CNPS member) with a keen eye for natural ecosystems, this front and back yard habitat garden has a lot to offer. Many plants were grown from seeds or cuttings, so this is an example of what can be accomplished on a budget! The old lawn was smothered with biodegradable sheet mulching, which now provides the foundation for the new, native garden.

Other Garden Attractions: A young, acorn-started black oak, surrounded by wildflowers, is getting established in the parking strip, that is also tastefully decorated by a staggered step stone entry. The large juniper, from the previous landscaping, is underplanted with hummingbird sage and snowberry, and is punctuated by a polypody fern. A honeysuckle vine uses the juniper as a trellis. The side yard features a row of established currants and a toyon specimen, and a small swale that channels the rain from under the gutter. In the front yard a little, central meadow is planted with California melic grass. The back yard was recently upgraded with a molate red fescue meadow, enclosing a dry creek and a pond--decorated by appropriate plants for both dry and wet areas. A natural, mulch-covered path circulates the garden, from where one can explore the many native shrubs, perennials, and other hidden treasures, such as a small brush pile and a hammock, along the perimeter of the property. The grape vine-covered deck provides a nice view to the valley, and is connected by step stones to another, charming seating area.

Gardening for Wildlife: The native flora provide ample seed, berries and pollen for the wild critters. The visiiting birds include doves, house finches, mockingbirds, towhees, cedar waxwings, robins, and white crowned sparrows. Many insects, including skippers, visit the California phacelia and the naked stem buckwheat in the parking strip. Birdbaths and a pond provide year round, fresh water.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 6

Garden Size: 3034 sq. ft

Designer: Susan Sundberg
Installer: Susan Sundberg and sister (the homeowner)

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