Growing Natives Garden Tour 2017

Mitchell Heritage Garden (19 photos)

Garden #22, Los Altos Hills


Showcase Features: This transformation from mostly lawn, oleander bushes and junipers to a small piece of paradise is sure to amaze every visitor. The garden was designed for birds and wildlife, low water usage, year-round color and to bring the feel of the Santa Cruz Mountains into the yard. The garden is now about 3 years old with more than 1000 plants installed. Around 97% of them are California natives with the rest also being drought tolerant. The front and one side of the property is regularly visited by deer and other wildlife so has been planted with wildlife friendly and deer resistant plants such as native verbena, holly-leaf cherry, monkey flower, Mediterranean lavender and sages. In the fenced part of the property, hummingbird sage, grasses, low-growing manzanita, coyote mint, and other natives are planted in low to medium heights to provide views of an orchard and oaks and keeps an open feel in the yard. The yard is mostly in full daylight, with a few shady areas under the oaks.

Other Garden Attractions: A tiered fountain at the entry serves as a birdbath and drinking fountain for wildlife. Rock walls help with drainage, and the sound of a small circulating waterfall that ends in a swimming pool attracts birds. A rustic but modern gas-fed firebowl invites the family to linger as the temperature drops. A Bocce Ball court helps to add that resort feel to the property. The backyard garden flows into the apricot orchard which has existed on the property for generations. There are large native oaks spread throughout various parts of the property.

Gardening for Wildlife: This garden is a big attraction for hummingbirds, with both native and non-native sages blooming year round and several hummingbird feeders available for an extra snack. The garden is also visited by red tailed hawks, owls, mourning doves, quail, orioles, goldfinches, house finches, butterflies, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, garden snakes and lizards. You will also find a few niger feeders, bird houses, and brush piles. The wildlife side is still partly unfinished - plans are to add a small meadow as well as a secluded area where deer will feel safe bedding down.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 3

Garden Size: 45,000 sq.ft.

Designer: Annaloy Nickum
Installer: owner (with help)

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