Forestville Wildlife Haven


Forestville | Large Rural Garden

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Homeowner Durs provides an introduction to his garden.

My target audience for this two + acre area are birds, bees and butterflies. We all have the same address. Raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, snakes, possums and deer all pass through though I am not planting specifically for them. Observing wildlife is the benefit of all the planning and planting that has taken place.

Birds have open areas and thickets to nest and roost in. Providing large brush piles was beneficial and the birds make extensive use of these. It is not unusual to see 20 bird species during mid-day bath time. Each evening about 100 quail from three coveys visit for dinner.

Isn’t it amazing how plants get us to plant them and insects to fertilize them? Numerous flowering plants provide year round interest. I can often see eight different species of butterflies working the flowers. The wild bees are so thick oftentimes that you can hear them 20 feet away. The spiders do a great business with their webs.

What I am most proud of is having eradicated English ivy and Vinca major from a large area under the black oak trees. It took five years. It is very fulfilling putting in plants that should be growing under the oaks. In addition, the area under the oaks now benefits the wildlife by providing a food source due to the plants used.

Once upon a time there used to be a lawn in my front yard. One would be hard put to tell though. The paths through the ten foot tall toyon, ceanothus, manzanita , et. al. are quite the thicket. The deer spend their day here as do the quail.

The plants are now established enough that they are self-seeding, most likely with the help of the birds. Madrone, spice bush, dutchman’s pipevine and beeplant are all spreading on their own. I have to thin the oaks that the birds and squirrels plant. It’s not unusual to take out 30 six foot tall oaks that have sprung up each year.

Come visit, I think you will find this west county property interesting.

Events at Forestville Wildlife Haven

  • Poster: Pollinators


Plants to Look out For

Durs Top 10 Plants!

  1. Soaproot (Chlorogalum pomeridianum)
  2. Winnifred Gilman Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii ‘Winnifred Gilman’)
  3. Flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum ‘California Glory’)
  4. Ella Nelson’s Yellow Buckwheat (Eriogonum nudum ‘Ella Nelson’s Yellow’)
  5. Blue Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana)
  6. Hot Lips Salvia (Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’)
  7. Tarweed (Madia elegans)
  8. Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia rigens)
  9. Eve Case Coffeeberry (Frangula californica ‘Eve Case’)
  10. Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum)

A complete printable plant list for Forestville Wildlife Haven can be downloaded using the blue button below.