From Grass Green to Sustainable Green

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Santa Rosa | Front & Back Gardens

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Nancy and Jim tell the story of their garden

In 2014 it became apparent to us that our water usage was not sustainable. We had beautiful green lawns, front and back and used a lot of water to keep it that way….more than we even realized until we took the time to analyze it!  Embarrassing as it is, we were using over 29 thousand gallons per month during the summer months and didn’t even know it. So, working with the City of Santa Rosa, Daily Acts, and Weaving Earth, we were inspired to change that for the better. Our water bill dropped by 16 thousand gallons per month!

Daily acts inspired us, Weaving Earth helped with the Design and Installation, and the City of Santa Rosa helped us analyze what we were using and how we could cut back. We also participated in the City’s rebate program which helped out with some of the cost. Our primary objective was to save water, but other ideas were implemented as we designed.  We feel our front yard became a sweet haven for all creatures…lots of habitat for wildlife and mankind. The birds and such get to take advantage of all the native plants for foraging and pollinating, whereas, we humans now have a hangout place on the sidewalk including conversational benches and a Little Free Library Box.  We were thrilled with the results of Weaving Earth’s design based on our desires.

The backyard is currently under its final stage of construction….the food forest installed by Weaving Earth several years ago is producing abundantly, but we had not converted the lawn area until now.  It too will be primarily “greened” by low growing, low water usage, thyme. It should be ready for viewing by the April 30th Garden tour.

Plant List

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

 

Russian River Friendly Landscaping Principles and Practices

Nurture the Soil

Soil is a complex, dynamic combination of minerals, air, water and organic matter. And although organic matter is a small fraction of the soil, it is a vital component. It includes plant and animal debris in various stages of decay as well as many living organisms — one teaspoon of a healthy soil can contain billions of beneficial bacteria and fungi.

A cornerstone of Russian River-Friendly landscaping is creating and protecting conditions for a diversity of beneficial soil organisms. It is based on the principle of feeding the soil, not the plant, to encourage a thriving community — a foodweb — of microorganisms, worms and other beneficial creatures. Healthy soil is alive!

 

Russian River FLG LogoWhy Does Soil Life Matter?

Living soil is teeming with bacteria, fungi, protozoa, beneficial nematodes, insects, worms and other beneficial organisms — amazing workhorses that will carry out the following valuable processes:

  • Creating soil structure
  • Storing and cycling nutrients
  • Protecting plants from pests
  • Improving water infiltration and storage
  • Filtering out urban pollutants

Functions of a Healthy Living Soil

  • Store water and nutrients
  • Groundwater recharge and runoff reduction
  • Neutralization of pollutants
  • Resists pests