Maryann and Dan’s Hobby Garden


Santa Rosa | 3,400 sq. ft. Veggie Garden

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Homeowners Maryann and Dan introduce their garden.

Our yard is always a work in progress. We have been organic gardeners for more than 30 years. We have always been interested in ways to reuse water.

Over the years we have made several changes to our yard.

We started collecting rainwater about five years ago. We started with a set of twelve olive barrels. Two years ago, we upgraded to larger water tanks and now can store up to 1,300 gallons. We use that water on our veggie garden which is the main focus of our yard. When we run out of rainwater, our garden is on a drip system connected to the city water system.

We installed our laundry-to-landscape graywater system several years ago. It is a simple system that waters three specific areas.

As many people do, we use a bucket in the shower to catch the cold water as the shower warms up. We use that water on various plants around the yard and in the house.

We removed our front and back lawns two years ago. Our intentions were to plant drought tolerant plants. Since we have not received any significant rainfall, we have left the “chip yards” for now. The backyard makes for a fun place for the dog and visiting children to play.

We also use solar to provide power to areas away from the house.

We use our clothesline for drying clothes most of the year.

Our yard is not fancy but very functional for us. We are eco-, kid-, and dog-friendly.

Rainwater Harvesting & Available Rebates

Rainwater harvesting is the simple act of collecting the rainwater that runs off the hardscapes on your site for beneficial use. There are passive methods for rainwater harvesting, including infiltration basins and bio-swales, that slow or stop the flow of runoff across your site. And there are active methods of rainwater harvesting, such as catching and storing the water in cisterns for later use.

Benefits of rainwater harvesting:

  1. Reduce peak demands on the water supply system.
  2. Increase groundwater recharge.
  3. Reduce peak flows into stormwater and creek systems.
  4. Reduce energy consumption embedded in the delivery of potable water.
  5. Plants like rainwater as it is free of salts and tends to be slightly acidic.
  6. Once installed provides a free supply of water.
  7. Connects you to the hydrologic cycle and to your water consumption.

City of Santa Rosa and North Marin Water District water customers can take advantage of a rainwater harvesting rebate of $0.25 per gallon of storage. Visit their respective websites for further information, terms, and conditions.