The Taylor’s Neat & Tidy Permaculture Garden


Daily ActsWindsor

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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

The Taylor’s moved into their fixer-upper 5 years ago and quickly began renovations on the landscape. The whole “garden” was a lot of gravel and lawn to start, but with love and some help from Windsor’s lawn removal rebate program, the landscape is now producing food, habitat, and wonder galore. This suburban eco-paradise was designed and installed by homeowners, Cathy and Terry.

The front garden is especially low maintenance, featuring evergreen perennials that bring a beautiful since of order and color to the front of the home year round. Cathy and Terry sheet mulched the lawn and dug swales and berms that add vertical interest while harvesting rainwater in the winter, holding greywater in the summer, and preventing runoff. They transformed some of the existing gravel into a permeable parking lot, which allows rain to soak in and be filtered by the soil. Their simple laundry-to-landscape greywater system keeps the front garden looking lush all summer. Drip irrigation with a smart control measures humidity and supplements the greywater by providing just the right amount of water for the weather conditions. The Taylor’s save loads of time and energy, and keep their garden full of organic matter, by simply letting the leaves from their tough Raywood Ash trees fall and serve as mulch rather than having to rake them up and get rid of them. Clumping bamboo, rather than rhizomatous varieties, helps the yard feel lush and tropical but is easy to contain. The birds love this garden too, with its bird bath, seed, and bluebird house.

The back yard is still a work in progress, as every garden is, but has great bones. The back garden’s four reclaimed water tanks hold 1400 gallons of high quality rainwater, which is used to irrigate vegetables and fruit trees, including Santa Rosa plums, nectarines and cherries. The Taylor’s roof is equipped with solar panels, which provide 80-85% of energy needs for their home, tenants, and home office. Espaliered citrus trees serve as a privacy screen for the rental unit, and trellised grapes create a sense of separation between the home and office. They enjoy growing all kinds of fruits and veggies, but have herbs, horseradish, kale, strawberries, artichokes, raspberries, arugula, lavender, and rosemary going year round. This garden is a prime example of the balance between thoughtful planning and just having fun!


Plant List

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


Town of Windsor Stage 2 Water Shortage in Effect

Windsor trans png

Although recent rainfall in 2016 has helped to replenish local water supply reservoirs, the Town remains under a Stage 2 Shortage Condition.  The Windsor Town Council adopted a resolution on May 6th, 2015, declaring a Stage 2 Water Shortage Emergency, enacting a mandatory 20 percent reduction in water use as compared to 2013 and implementing additional restrictions for irrigation water use.   The Town’s adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plan specifies three distinct stages of emergency that can be implemented to address water shortage conditions in the Town. These stages are numbered in order of increasing severity and with an increasing reduction in usage required.

The Town is requiring residents and businesses to adhere to the year-round regulations and restrictions on water waste and to the non-essential uses of water stipulated as part of the Stage 2 Shortage Emergency, including:

  • no irrigation runoff to gutters
  • no hosing sidewalks, driveways, patios, or other hard surfaces
  • no washing of cars and boats except using a bucket and hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle for a quick rinse
  • no initial filling, or draining and refilling of pools during the shortage period
  • no service of drinking water at restaurants unless expressly requested by a patron

The following irrigation restrictions are also in effect:

  • Landscape irrigation for residents living west of Highway 101 shall be limited to Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
  • Landscape irrigation for residents living east of Highway 101 shall be limited to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
  • Commercial customers, including multi-family customers with three or more units, and institutional customers may water no more than three (3) days per week and not on consecutive days. Exemptions may be granted for publicly owned recreational landscape areas provided a 25% reduction in water use compared to the corresponding billing period in 2013 is maintained.
  • No watering during or within 48 hours after rain.
  • No watering of new or replacement turf grass