Growing Natives Garden Tour 2015

Silva Garden (10 photos)

Garden #1, San Mateo


Showcase Features: The owner inherited a garden with lawns, which were sheet mulched to create a blank canvas. With help from Doug Heilman, the owner added gravel paths and berms for visual interest and to improve drainage. Plantings include a young California redbud, a toyon 'Davis Gold' and elderberry, coffeeberry plants, sages, and penstemons. In the background, currents, ferns, and coral bells light up the shade with their lush green foliage. One of the beds in the front features primarily Channel Islands plants including chaparral currant, giant coreopsis, buckwheats, pitcher sage, and dudleya. In the front, a stacked rock wall improves drainage, stops leaves and debris from blowing into the garden, and adds visual interest. Small succulents have been added in the cracks.

Other Garden Attractions: The garden features 12 different species of manzanita - all thriving in a very small space. The owner's blog,, allows you to see the "before" pictures for this garden - and be amazed at the transformation.

Gardening for Wildlife: The garden was designed with wildlife in mind, and the pollen, nectar, seeds, and berries of the native plants are excellent food sources for many different visitors. The back garden features a bubbling bird bath that attracts many different birds, from finches to crows.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 2

Garden Size: 1500 sq ft

Designer: Owner (initial help from Annaloy Nickum)
Installer: Owner (help from Doug Heilman of Garden Rain Landscaping)

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

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