Growing Natives Garden Tour 2013

Alan Hackler Garden (7 photos)

Garden #61, San Jose


Showcase Features: The homeowner, an enthusiastic and creative practitioner of permaculture, has re-designed his front and back yard around rainwater catchment. Runoff from the roof is sent into 'dry creeks' that lead to percolation basins. Riparian plants planted to utilize roof runoff include red-twig forms of cornus sericea, vine maple, juncus patens, stream orchids and tules. Other shrubs include Dark Star Ceanothus, manzanita 'Lester Roundtree', Ribes, buckwheat and blue elderberry. Native bulbs, wildflowers, succulents and irises provide a carpet of spring color. To align with the permaculture philosophy guiding the creation of this garden, no additional irrigation is used. Additionally salvaged pieces of flagstone from a garden demo was rescued from the landfill to create a retaining wall that is interplanted with many forms of Dudleya and Sedum, to create a menagerie of color. Sheet mulching techniques are used for weed control, instead of the infective plastic weed fabric, with amazing effectiveness.

Other Garden Attractions: The home owner operates a native plant nursery business in the backyard and utilizes unique hydroponics methods for rooting cuttings. To advance the goal of keeping and reusing all water on site, a greywater system has been installed to divert the washing machine water into a riparian garden featuring all edible native plants. There is also a large collection of native plants in traditional and bonsai containers. The garden also features several small ponds features with riparian plants.

Gardening for Wildlife: Logs are utilized in the design for birds to perch on, provide refuge for insects and amphibians, as well as enhance the Mixed Woodland plant community in the garden. Native plants that offer maximum habitat value are included in the garden (Sambucus, Ceanothus, Acer macropylan). There are many plants that produce berries for food sources for birds and small creatures (Ribes, Vitis Californica, Arctostaphylos, Lonicera, Wild Rose). There are also butterfly host and nectar plants spaced throughout the garden, including several Dutchman's pipevine, sedum, dudleya. Hummingbirds have become a common site in the garden as they pollinate the Western Columbine, Hummingbird sage, Mimulus, Leopard Lilies, Dichelostemma, iris. The ponds and bird baths in the garden, offer water and refuge for passing birds, and the occasional amphibians.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 4

Garden Size: 3,300 sq ft

Designer: Alan Hackler, Bay Maples: Wild California Gardens
Installer: Alan Hackler, Bay Maples: Wild California Gardens

Click here to display the plant list in a printer-friendly format (from year 2012).

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