by Greg Van Trump
Registration is still open for the 2013 Marin-Friendly Garden Tour, scheduled for Saturday, May 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It only takes a minute to sign up using our online registration system, and there’s no charge to attend! We hope you can join us.
The 2013 tour features nine inspiring gardens that showcase a variety of environmentally friendly practices, ranging from conserving water to creating wildlife habitat. Here’s a sneak preview of one of the gardens on this year’s tour.
To find California native species in a garden is fairly common in Marin, but a garden planted entirely with California natives is an exciting and rare find. Sectioned into riparian, woodland, meadow and chaparral plant communities, this hillside garden offers an easy way to experience a variety of native plant species at one convenient location. As you stroll along the crushed lava rock path that leads through the property, you will pass through riparian and woodland habitats, complete with a dry creek bed wandering down the side of the house and then exiting under two volunteer California live oaks. The path continues through a sedge transition meadow then across a dry meadow featuring drought-tolerant grasses, perennials, a variety of annual wildflowers and showy red and pink clarkias. Don’t worry if you are not keen on plant identification as nearly all the plants are labeled. And finally, a variety of chaparral species rounds out this wonderful exhibit of California natives. The dry meadow, chaparral and hedgerow areas are no longer watered, flourishing only on rainfall provided by Mother Nature. This garden is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Wildlife Habitat Garden and by the Bay-Friendly Coalition.
Consider planning your visit to this garden around noon, when the property owner will discuss “Gardening with California Natives”—one of three free garden talks included as part of the tour.