Growing Natives Garden Tour 2015

Tan's Garden (11 photos)

Garden #34, Cupertino


Showcase Features: The more mature front yard is a lawn conversion. Sheet mulching was used to plant into the existing lawn. In the parking strip, an unruly ivy was removed, and the back yard once had a large pool that has since been filled in. A large pile of river rocks (from the old landscaping) was recycled and turned into stepping areas for the parking strip. Some of the existing bricks were removed from the left side of the driveway area to reduce the hardscape, and to create a new garden bed for a deciduous tree which will provide cooling from the hot afternoon sun. The removed bricks were reused as edging for the new garden bed. The entire property has been replaced by mostly native, drought-tolerant plants, and the new landscape is professionally mainted with eco-friendly practices (no chemicals or gas-powered equipment).

Other Garden Attractions: The front yard offers a lot of curb appeal, and includes native shrub and ground cover forms of manzanita, ceanothus and sages, St. Catherine's Lace buckwheat, deer grass, toyon, monkeyflower, CA fuchsia, yarrow, foothill penstemon, blue-eyed grass, and lilac verbena. In the more recently installed parking strip, the ivy was replaced with a mix of native trees (coast live and valley oak, and 2 western redbuds), alternating low growing shrubs (Yankee Point ceanothus, Pigeon Point coyote brush, and Bee's Bliss sage) and perennials (CA goldenrod, blue grama grass and CA poppy). 3 Leatherleaf coffeeberry and CA fuchsia decorate the left side of the driveway, and is punctuated by a young CA black walnut tree. The back yard is also newer. Entering through the narrow side yard, fragrant, ervergreen currant is trained as a fence cover. The spacious back garden is divided into two main sections by a pervious gold gravel path and a meandering step stone path. Western redbud, spice bush, hollyleaf cherry, serviceberry, blue elderberry, CA buckeye, snowberry, and an upright coyote brush are getting established along the perimeter fencing, and will provide a privacy screen and seasonal interest. At the foot of the taller shrubs, Douglas iris, woodland strawberry, hedge nettle, hairy gum plant, CA phacelia, and coral bells add more color and food for pollinators. The center garden area is filled with a mix of colorful perennials (golden and coast asters, CA buckwheat, blue flax, CA fuchsia, coyote mint, a small meadow of purpleneedlegrass with yarrow), and is accented by a birdbath with a trio of CA gray rush. 2 large cobalt blue pots (planted with giant chain fern, island alum root and yerba buena) decorate the patio door.

Gardening for Wildlife: This is a wildlife habitat garden. Food, shelter, water, and places to raise young are all provided. The decorative fieldstone rocks double as sunning places for lizards.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 2

Garden Size: 4,300 sq. ft

Designer: Front: Deva Luna, Earthcare Landscaping; Front parking strip, driveway area update, and back: Agi Kehoe Landscaping
Installer: Front: Earthcare Landscaping; Parking strip, driveway beds, and back: Benz's Landscaping & Tree Care

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