The Dell’Osso’s Delightful Drought Tolerant Garden


Daily ActsCotati | 1,700 sq. ft. Front Garden

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

This garden is also featured in the Daily Acts Rockin’ Homestead Tour

The Dell’Osso’s converted their front lawn into a drought-tolerant garden many years ago in an effort to minimize water use in the landscape. Knowing that water conservation was and is important in California, they felt that this was the right thing to do. John remembers neighbors being excited to see the changes and diversity of bloom and habitat that their garden transformation created and several of them have followed suit. The garden, which is a Certified Wildlife Habitat garden by the National Wildlife Federation, provides food, beauty and wildlife habitat while conserving water.

The front garden boasts showy native perennials including sage, both red and purple penstemon, and checkerbloom and provides butterflies and bees with nectar and pollen. A colored concrete pathway curving from the sidewalk to the front leads to two sitting areas tucked within the shade of the Japanese maple tree. A combination of shredded redwood bark and wood chips are used in layers to conserve water, keep the weeds down, and build the soil over time. Drip irrigation or buckets of water from the shower, water the garden when needed.

The back garden incorporates a vegetable garden and fruit trees along with water features and a flagstone patio. Plum, pear, apple, persimmon trees and crape myrtle anchor different areas of the garden providing fruit for birds and people and shade during summer months. The wildlife habitat that this garden creates is extended just behind our fence in Cotati Creek with 2 Valley oaks, California buckeye, and others including butterfly bush and California native Ceanothus and Coffeeberry which are all butterfly larval hosts.


Plant List

A printable plant list is available to download for this garden.


City of Cotati Water Restrictions are Working!

The City of Cotati has saved 26% more water than 2014! Last May, the City Council adopted a continuation of the existing 20% mandatory water conservation stage, and put into effect new emergency regulations required by the State. All customers are required to limit irrigation to 2 days per week on ornamental landscapes. Even numbered addresses can irrigate on Wednesday and Sunday. Odd numbered addresses can irrigate on Tuesday and Saturday. No customer can irrigate during or 48 hours after measurable rainfall. Restrictions will remain in place until further notice. A complete list of water use restrictions included on the link below.
Resolution No. 2015-21