Growing Natives Garden Tour 2013

Strauss Family Garden (10 photos from 2011)

Garden #26, 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-sheer 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: Evergreen huckleberry, western sword fern and a recirculating fountain lead to the front entrance. 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, accented by narrow-leaf milkweed, edge the front urbanite pathway which borders a newly constructed porch before it connects to the back garden. 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-sheer hedge along the west property line, while a row of carpenteria does this duty on the east side.

Entering the back garden on the right, 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 back fence, located on a higher level, is supported by a retaining wall that also doubles as a seating area, and the raised bed behind the wall is planted with Ray Hartman ceanothus, Davis Gold toyon, snowberry, Douglas & Pacific Coast Hybrid iris, Wendy and Canyon Belle coral bells. The center garden bed features a mossy mason stone-edged raised bed, planted with St. Catherine's lace and red flowered buckwheat, Rocky Point blue-eyed grass, and hairy gum plant. Stone crop 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. Deer grass, Select Mattole and Sierra Salmon CA fuchsia, golden aster, goldedrod, and non native Hidcote lavender provide additional summer colors in the garden, while yerba buena, espaliered evergreen currant, Canyon Snow Douglas iris, and western sword fern enjoy the shady areas.

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.

Plants Available: On tour day, Almaden Valley Nursery will conduct a plant sale at this garden. 20% of the proceeds will benefit the Going Native Garden Tour. Please pay with cash or check.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 5

Garden Size: 4100 sq ft

Designer: Agi Kehoe
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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