Going Native Garden Tour 2019

Sand Box Garden (8 photos)

Garden #41, Sunnyvale


Showcase Features: This garden is an inspiration to create your own beautiful environmentally friendly outdoor space. Over the years, the owner/designer has used this garden as her sandbox to experiment sustainable and Bay-Friendly design ideas. Therefore, even though it has been on this tour since 2006, each year something new happens here. While it has a strong prominence of California native plants, the garden also comprise of drought tolerant Mediterranean plants, fruit trees, and vegetable & herb garden boxes. This garden conserves water, welcomes admiring neighbors, and invites feathered friends and beneficial insects. In 2006, the front lawn was removed using sheet mulching and planted with sun-loving sages, Manzanitas, Buckwheats, and wildflowers. The front entry path is made of broken-up urbanite from the site. The back yard was redesigned in 2016 to replace the remaining lawn with a decomposed granite patio and paths. Permeable material such as gravel and decomposed granite are used for the patio and walkways. Two rainwater barrels provide supplemental water for the vegetables garden. The landscape is maintained without gas powered tools or chemicals. Kitchen scraps and green waste are composted on site and used in the garden. Fallen leaves are used as natural mulch. Laundry water was diverted to be used in the landscape.

Other Garden Attractions: Valley Oak, Scrub Oaks, Toyon, Purple Sage, Coyote Bush, Spice Bush, and Manzanitas give structure to the landscape. Redbuds, Groundcover Sages and Ceanothus, Monkey Flowers, native grasses, Douglas Irises, California Poppies, Blue Flax, Gillias and other wildflowers highlight the landscape. The garden design respects the micro-climatic conditions of the site by arranging plants that have similar needs together. Plants from riparian and redwood plant communities are in shaded areas with extra seasonal water. Shady dry areas are planted with oak woodland plants, the sunny dry areas are taken up with grassland and chaparral plants.

Gardening for Wildlife: Wildlife is encouraged by providing food, water, shelter, and nesting sites in the garden. Mature trees and large shrubs provide nesting sites. Layered plantings of dense shrubs and trees provide shelter. A wide variety of local native plants provide food. The garden includes a bird bath and a small fountain for fresh water.

Garden Talk: 10AM (homeowner), 12PM, & 2PM (Justin Burks of the Santa Clara Valley Water District): a short presentation about this site's laundry-to-landscape graywater system, how the homeowners applied for and received a $200 rebate for the system, and about best practices for utilizing graywater. Justin will be available after his presentations to answer your questions about making graywater work with your landscaping. This free educational opportunity will be a great opportunity to experience how a graywater system works in a native garden. Learn how to safely reuse water from washing machines to irrigate your landscape!

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 17

Garden Size: 4000 sq ft

Designer: AFLA Landscape Architecture - Ashini Fernando
Installer: Ashini Fernando with help of Benz's Landscaping and Tree Care - Benz Godinez

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

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