West End Neighborhood & Historic District


Santa Rosa | 3 Gardens in Walking Distance

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Santa Rosa West End Neighborhood & Historic District offers residents community, history, art, culture, and downtown living. Take some time to stroll around and check out some of the features such as the De Turk Round Barn on Donahue Street, which was built in 1891.

1. Urban Sustainability

This delightful, drought-tolerant urban garden is an amusement park for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, often causing passers-by to stop and enjoy the colorful blooms and all of the activity. Drought tolerant native and Mediterranean plants with long bloom periods are interspersed with edible fruits, vegetables and herbs providing nourishment for residents as well as wildlife.

When homeowner Terry Allan purchased the property in 2010, she immediately sheet mulched the lawn and converted the sprinklers to drip irrigation, which qualified for the City of Santa Rosa ‘Cash for Grass’ rebate program. An accomplished farm and landscape designer, Terry does all of the (organic) gardening herself, from design to planting and maintenance. Over the past few years plantings have grown, evolved and changed as needed. In 2015, Terry installed a 600 gallon (12 barrel) BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System to provide irrigation for the vegetable garden.

Terry’s garden demonstrates that sustainable can be beautiful and affordable, even on a small urban house lot. Underpinning the gorgeous display of colorful flowers, this DIY garden incorporates many water-, energy-, and money-saving features including sheet mulching, rain catchment, solar clothes drying, drip irrigation, and edible, ornamental and native plants.

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


2. West End Permaculture Food Forest

Justin & Eryn tell the story of their garden

We started our garden in 2012 after the purchase of the house. It started as a nearly blank slate with front and back lawns and few shrubs. As eager home owners on a budget we set out to create a do-it-yourself landscape. Over the last 3 years we have transformed our lawn into a year round garden that produces fruits, vegetables and flowers. The garden design is inspired by many hours of reading on permaculture design and food forest. The front garden is the newest addition, installed in 2015, and includes Sonoma fieldstone raised beds for both a vegetable garden and a cut flower garden. The cut flower garden has over 300 bulbs as well as annual and perennial flowers, many of which are added to salads. Vegetable crops are rotated through the seasons with many being left to reseed. You will find very few plants in rows, instead we interplant to allow for a diversity. Our berry alley runs along the side of the front garden with a collection of berries easily accessible to children’s hands. The garden continues back with an espalier apple tree fence enclosing the side of our property but leaving it open for wildlife to come and go. The back garden includes a traditional vegetable garden in cedar raised planting boxes. Herbs and vegetables are just steps from the kitchen and regularly included in meals. A variety of fruit trees have been planted over the years including multi-grafts, high density cluster, and additional espaliers. An old cracked patio was removed and replaced with a permeable flagstone patio and potted garden set up for entertaining, and a deck encircled with edibles sits in the corner for lounging in a hammock. Even though our garden is relatively young its produced an abundance of food and beauty. We hope you enjoy our outdoor living space as much as we do.

3. Water-Wise in the West End

This is an ever evolving garden with lots of volunteers/bulbs and plants that have their prime when its wet. Many bulbs in large pots to reduce watering to in bloom time only. The veggie garden is drip irrigated, recently becoming a no till veggie space using cover crops and lots of compost. Multiple fruit trees of various ages (none of which are watered) some of the fruit trees are planted very closely in groups of similar types. i.e. 3 trees white peach/yellow peach/nectarine essentially planted in the same space and then pruned as one tree. Almost all plant debris stays on the property, composted. No till areas of self seeding flowers along the parkway. Naturally watered only…