Growing Natives Garden Tour 2017

Strauss Family Garden (8 photos from 2016)

Garden #33, Sunnyvale


Showcase Features: This professionally designed and built garden was created with and is maintained by sustainable and Bay-Friendly practices. Predominantly landscaped with drought-resistant native plants, the garden showcases a berm built with recycled garden soil, sheet mulching, no-shear hedges, and water-pervious hardscape elements, such as urbanite, reused brick and goldfines pathways, an urbanite patio, and a unique style driveway. The rain gutter downspouts are all channelled underground into the garden areas. The landscape is maintained without the use of gas-powered garden tools or chemicals, the natural, on-site leaf and garden matter are utilized as mulch, and the owners also use a compost bin.

Other Garden Attractions: The front garden's berm was built using extra soil during construction and is supported by a serpentine-shaped, dry stack, mossy mason stone wall, accented by three John Dourley manzanita. The center of the berm is decorated with a leafy reed grass meadow that is punctuated with a CA buckwheat and globe gilia wildflowers. Bee's bliss sage and Carmel Sur manzanita edge the front urbanite pathway. The lower part of the front garden features a young valley oak, underplanted with Pigeon Point coyote brush, golden aster, hummingbird sage. and a small meadow of CA poppy. California goldenrod and fuchsia and coast aster provide additional summer colors. California fescue, blue-eyed grass, and Ithuriel's spear bulbs thrive under a mature, liquidambar city tree. Leatherleaf coffeeberry and a dark star ceanothus create a natural, no-shear hedge along the west property line, while a row of carpenteria does this duty on the east side. Entering the back garden, a Roger's Red wild grape is trained on the side fence and part of the tool shed. A meandering gold fines path, accented by a stone birdbath, connects to the urbanite path and a patio, and provides easy access. The higher back fence is supported by a retaining wall that also doubles as a seating area, and is planted with Ray Hartman ceanothus, Davis Gold toyon, snowberry, Douglas & Pacific Coast Hybrid iris, Wendy and Susana coral bells. The center garden bed features a mossy mason stone-edged raised bed, planted with St. Catherine's lace and red flowered buckwheat, blue-eyed grass, hairy gum plant and CA Phacelia. Stonecrop and bluff lettuce mingle in the narrow strip behind the raised bed, while Margarita BOP foothill penstemon, yarrow, seaside daisy, and coyote mint offer additional color and texture on the other side.

Gardening for Wildlife: The garden was designed, and is certfied by the National Wildlfie Federation, as a wildlife habitat for various birds, butterflies, bumble bees and other insects. Food, shelter, water and places to raise young are all present. Feral cats living in the neighborhood, unfortunately do pose a threat especially to small birds.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 9

Garden Size: 4100 sq ft

Designer: Agi Kehoe Landscaping
Installer: Original: EarthCare Landscaping, Back yard upgrade by Benz's Landscaping & Tree Care

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

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