10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This is a public demonstration garden and will not have a host
The gardens around Sebastopol City Hall and Library are known as “Our Front Yard” since they surround the two key buildings in the community. These gardens tell the history of Sebastopol in four distinct sections: a native plants section, a pioneers section, a Luther Burbank section and a permaculture-inspired contemporary garden with an emphasis on low-water use and edible plants. These gardens are a public food forest which was installed by volunteers and they continue to serve as a teaching tool for members of the community. People are encouraged to carefully harvest from the gardens and each month local nonprofit Daily Acts hosts a garden stewardship day to bring people together to maintain the gardens.
Imagine a garden that is thriving during the drought, bursting with colorful blooms, delicious fruit, the melodies of song birds, and healthy bees. The following landscape elements will help ensure that your garden is slowing, spreading, and sinking as much water as possible rather than wasting it and causing runoff. The result? Lush gardens that use less to do more.
THE RIGHT PLANTS
Every water-wise garden needs the right plants grown in the right places. Native plants are always a good choice, as they are adapted to California’s seasonally dry climate. Arranging plants so they have appropriate shelter from drying winds and hot afternoon sun can also help reduce water requirements. Hardy perennial food plants provide multiple benefits, and even annual fruit and vegetable plants can be grown with water efficiency in mind.
Increase the living sponge of your site with a thick layer of mulch. Mulch reduces erosion, slows evaporation and builds better soil over time. Better soil (ie. soil with more organic matter) in turn absorbs and holds more water. A nice layer of mulch also creates a prime canvas to display your gorgeous plants. Just be sure that mulch isn’t piled up around the stems or trunks of plants.
Swales are essentially thoughtfully designed ditches that enable rainwater to slow, spread and sink into the soil. Capturing water in the soil is the cheapest and easiest way to harvest large amounts of rain, hydrating your landscape and recharging groundwater. Rain gardens are one form of swale. Berm and basin swales, built along the contour of a hill, help infiltrate water flowing down a slope and create a lens of water underground available to plants downhill. Infiltration basins can be either deep narrow ditches or simply holes, which are then filled with mulch to help hold water on flatter surfaces.
Remove hardscape to maximize rain absorbing garden space. Permeable pathways of gravel, mulch, and even brick allow more water to soak into the ground. Consider installing permeable pavers or vegetative planting strips in place of concrete in driveways or plant rain gardens in parkway strips along sidewalks to increase permeability and reduce runoff at your site.
Forget sprinklers. A simple system of tubing and emitters delivers the right amount of water right where it’s needed. You can also easily convert a sprinkler head to feed your drip system, which makes setting up irrigation for your lawn-to-garden transformations very simple. An automatic timer can be added to ensure consistent watering. If you don’t have an irrigation system, get in the habit of hand watering. Either way, you’ll use less water and get better results because you’ll be giving each plant just what it needs.
To see this information and more visit Daily Act’s website by clicking HERE.