Sunday, April 19, 2009

Going Native Garden Tour

On a hot spring day (92F/ 33C) we toured a couple of native gardens in the San Jose area. Every year, since 2003, the Go-Native-Garden-Tour has been organized in spring. This year there were about 45 participating gardens. We visited about 5 gardens.

The common thread is that all gardens use California native plants and are designed for water conservation. This is especially important this year since water levels have been extremely low. Nearby reservoirs were near empty at the beginning of the winter. I have never seen them that low.

My front lawn has suffered over the past years. In part because I have 3 big trees in front which suck up all the water. Secondly, one summer vacation without proper watering and I have a large open patch in the lawn.

I decided not to redo or reseed, but to slowly replace it with a native garden. For one maintenance is low. Secondly a native garden uses almost no water. Some of the gardeners mention they water a couple of minutes every 4 to 6 weeks. That's just amazing.

We took plenty of pictures of the plans and their nametags. Almost all gardens had every plant labeled with both their Latin name as their common name.

So, what's next? Step one will be to dig up the front lawn and install a drip grid water system. Step two: figure out a simple design with a couple of rocks. Step three: lots of mulch. Step four will be looking for plants. Perhaps something for the fall.

The backyard is a whole other story. For years the main role has been claimed by Mr Clover and his viral cousins taken over the entire yard.

1 comment:

Atstester said...

Any pictures of the current garden... would be very nice to see the 'Before' and 'After' after a few years...