Growing Natives Garden Tour 2013

Kehoe Demonstration Garden (10 photos from 2011)

Garden #24, Sunnyvale


Showcase Features: This small suburban lot is a bit of native paradise and a wildlife habitat garden, nestled among the old, conventional style landscapes of the surrounding neighborhood. The large lawns and neatly sheered exotic shrubs were replaced many years ago with a mostly native landscape thoughout. Many potted natives and unique garden art and paintings by local artists are also showcased. One of the owners is a landscape professional and a long time CNPS supporter, who uses the garden as a demonstration site as well as a learning lab. The owners take pride in gardening with bay and eco-friendly methoods, without the use of gas-powered garden tools or chemicals, and they also do on-site recycling and composting.

Other Garden Attractions: The front yard was converted to a bunch grass and wildflower meadow, and is planted with a mix of cool and warm season grasses, perennials, bulbs, and shrubs, providing an extended blooming period and habitat value. The yard is divided by a meanering path, and is accented on either side by a mature, multi-stem western redbud. Bunch grasses include CA & red fescue, pruple needlegrass, leafy reed and deer grass. Wildflowers include Douglas & Pacific Coast Hybrid iris, CA fuchia, goldenrod, buttercup, poppy, & phacelia, meadow onion, common yarrow, coast aster, seaside daisy, blue-eyed grass, checkerbloom, coyote mint, monkeyflower, etc. Gophers have recently become a major problem in the front, so new plants have beed added in gopher baskets. A Ray Hartman ceanothus and 3 young Louis Edmonds manzanita provide an informal, unsheered privacy screen along the west property line. The back yard has a comfortable patio with a wall fountain and adirondack chairs for relaxation and bird watching. The patio is surrounded by golden and pink flowering currants, pitcher & white sages, CA Dutchman's pipe vine, western virgirn's bower, CA morning glory, Sentinel and pajaro manzanitas. A meandering, water-pervious, Mariposa slate step stone path leads throug the back garden toward a tool shed & a compost area, and to the side of the house with a rain barrel and a small nursery. A well-placed wooden bench offers a view to most of the back garden and to a solar-powered urn fountain, underplanted by western columbine, stream orchid and torrent sedge. A row of pacific wax myrtle provides a tall privacy screen and shade for woodland shrubs and perennials, including snowberry, cream bush, pink flowering & evergreen currant, CA gooseberry, vine maple, evergreen huckleberry, elk clover, vanilla grass, hummingbird sage, coastal wood and western sword ferns, woodland sanicle, fringe cups, coral bells, yerba buena, woodland strawberry, false solomon's seal, etc. A copper birdbath by the tool shed is underplanted by iris-leaved rush and is surrounded by a trio of carpenteria and a Yankee Point ceanothus that is espaliered on the fence. A young CA buckeye is also getting established there. A mature blue elderberry tree offers summer shade for the house and is underplanted by a variety of native shrubs & perennials, including an espaliered fuchsia-flowered gooseberry.

Gardening for Wildlife: The garden was designed, and is certified by the National Wildlife Federation, as a wildlife habitat, and attracts many kinds of birds, insects, bees, small mammals, and lizards--who like to sunbathe on rocks. Food, water, shelter and places to raise young are all provided.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 18

Garden Size: 5000 sq ft

Designer: Agi Kehoe
Installer: Agi Kehoe and Benz's Landscaping & Tree Care

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

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