Growing Natives Garden Tour 2015

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, a Master Gardener 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 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, and deer grass. Wildflowers include Douglas & Pacific Coast Hybrid iris, CA fuchia, goldenrod, CA poppy, 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 large Ray Hartman ceanothus and 3 younger Louis Edmonds manzanita provide an informal privacy screen along the west property line. A wild cucumber vine (seldom seen in urban gardens) is trained along the house wall. The back yard's patio has a wall fountain, and is surrounded by golden and pink flowering currants, pitcher sage, a young coast silk tassel, Sentinel and pajaro manzanitas, and 3 vines: CA Dutchman's pipe, western virgirn's bower, and CA morning glory. A meandering, Mariposa slate stepstone path leads through the back garden toward a tool shed & compost area, and to the side of the house with 2 rain barrels. A wooden bench in the back corner offers a view to most of the back garden and to a solar-powered urn fountain, adored by birds, that is underplanted by watering loving natives: western columbine, stream orchid and torrent sedge. Tall screening is provided by Pacific wax myrtle, toyon, and a hollyleaf cherry. Their shade is enjoyed by an assortment of woodland shrubs and perennials, including blackberry, snowberry, cream bush, pink flowering & evergreen currants, thimbleberry, vine maple, evergreen huckleberry, elk clover, vanilla grass, hummingbird sage, western sword fern, 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 trained on the fence. A young CA buckeye is also getting established there. A mature blue elderberry, trained as a single trunk 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 for, and is certified by the National Wildlife Federation, as a wildlife habitat. Food, water, shelter, and places to raise young are all provided.

Years of CA Native Gardening at this Location: 20

Garden Size: 5000 sq ft

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

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