Growing Natives Garden Tour 2019

Primrose Way Pollinator Garden (18 photos)

Garden #54, Palo Alto


While this garden is open all year round, visiting it during the tour day provides an opportunity to ask the docents about any particularly interesting plants or features.

Address: Primrose Way at Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto (click the address to show it on a map).

Directions: From Hwy 101, take the Embarcadero Rd exit and head west on Embarcadero for about 0.6 mile. After passing Greer Rd, turn right onto Primrose Way. The garden is in the strip of land between Primrose and Embarcadero.

Showcase Features: The idea for this garden was conceived in 2016 by the landscape architect Juanita Salisbury, who convinced the city of Palo Alto to let her convert an unalluring strip of lawn, which had no value to wildlife, into a colorful oasis that would attract pollinators with nectar an pollen, and provide visual interest year-round. On the area of about 20 by 200 feet, a couple dozen of carefully selected species of low-growing shrubs (e.g., Salvia "Bee's Bliss", CA buckwheat, ceanothus "Skylark", perennials (e.g., lilac verbena, milkweed, yarrow, goldenrod, bee plant, CA fuchsia, rosy ans saffron buckwheats), and various annuals (e.g. poppies, clarkias, baby blue eyes), coexist in harmonious arrangement. The species were selected to provide overlapping bloom times, so that there is always a good supply of pollen and nectar for its insect visitors. Many plantings were started by volunteers from seed. See the plant list for the complete listing of what is planted there.

Other Garden Attractions: The project was financed with crowdfunding to cover the site preparation, and was installed by volunteers. The maintenance is also done by voluteers, and is done in a herbicide-free and pesticide-free manner. The Primrose Way Pollinator Garden project has now expanded to additional three sites. It has an active Facebook and Instagram pages, with frequently posted photos from the project, documenting the visiting wildlife and progresss of the work on the gardens.

Gardening for Wildlife: The garden has been mostly visied by native bees, butterflies, flies, and beetles. Hummingbirds as well as other types of birds also frequent the garden.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 3

Garden Size: 4,000 sq ft

Designer: Juanita Salisbury
Installer: Juanita Salisbury and neighborhood volunteers

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

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