Do it Yourself Delight


Santa Rosa | Postage Stamp Garden

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Homeowner Betty introduces her garden.

What do you do when faced with a front yard of red and white rock and you spent all your funds buying and remodeling your home? You do the garden yourself.

After I dug out, not one but 3 layers, of rocks and plastic, I cleaned the 2.5 tons of rock and recycled into friends’ driveways, pulled out 75 scalloped edgers, and recycled them to build retaining walls for beds and path. These beds and edgers were filled in and covered with 6 yards of compost. A straight concrete path was broken up and reused as new edging. A permeable meandering path and sitting area was made with flagstone and pebbles. A large blue glazed pot became a birdbath with solar pump so no wiring was needed.

This work was completed between July and October, so the garden was ready for planting after the California Native Plant Society Annual Plant Sale. With my purchases from the plant sale, I was ready to start the fun of planting. Most of the planting was in November 2014 with a few changes in fall 2015 and 2016.

Plants in the garden receive only rain and roof condensation collected in a barrel and graywater from the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Many had no water after the winter rains stopped and none received more than 1 watering per month. More water loving plants were placed next to gutter downspouts where small swales were created.

Year round color begins with California lilac and Golden currant in February, local wildflowers and bulbs burst forth in spring, summer brings out the beautiful California fuchsia, native daisies and milkweed for the butterflies through the fall. Hummingbirds, quail, and native bees find food, water and shelter in my little urban oasis.

Events at Do it Yourself Delight

  • DIY Small Garden Design, Construction, and Installation Workshop 1:30 p.m.
  • Poster: DIY Garden

Homeowner Betty provides an overview of the design, construction, and installation process that she undertook to upgrade her garden from red and white rock to a native plant oasis.


Plants to Look out For

Betty’s Top 10 Plants!

  1. Variegated Blue Blossom (Ceanothus thrysiflorus ‘El Dorado’)
  2. Farewell to Spring (Clarkia amoena)
  3. California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum ‘Marin Pink’)
  4. Alum Root (Heuchera micrantha ‘Martha Roderick’)
  5. Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana)
  6. Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia calycina)
  7. Foothill Penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus)
  8. California Buttercup (Ranunculus californicus)
  9. Bee’s Bliss Salvia (Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’)
  10. Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus)

A complete printable plant list for Do it Yourself Delight can be downloaded using the blue button below.