A Country Honeybee Garden

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San Rafael | One-Acre Fully Landscaped Garden

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Garden features:

  • California native plants.
  • Drip irrigation.
  • Edible garden.
  • Reclaimed and recycled materials.
  • Wildlife habitat.
  • Hand dug water well.
  • Beehives.
  • Vegetable boxes.

Once overgrown with brambles and poison oak, this one-acre woodland garden has since been transformed to feature a lovely variety of native plants, fruit trees and flowers. Over 40 Black Acacia trees (considered pest plants in Marin) once dominated the landscape, but were recycled by the owners into rustic garden arbors, and pathways made from Victorian, hand-made bricks now wind their way throughout the garden. Furthering their recycling efforts, all plants are fertilized by compost made on-site in a 6’ x 8’ box that produces 200 cubic feet per year, and the garden is pesticide free.  The owners also have organic vegetable boxes, a mobile cold frame for starting seedlings, and an army of honey bees (40,000 – 60,000) that produce award-winning honey.  Other unique features include a large “cross-country” croquet course and an 80-year-old hand-dug well, which was discovered after removing a 15-foot high bush of poison oak. Now utilizing a solar powered pump, the well feeds an irrigation pond and supplements the irrigation system. An owl box resides on the property, and quail, hawks, doves and mallards regularly visit too. Next door, you can see the largest Valley Oak in Santa Venetia.

Bay-Friendly Landscaping

Bay-Friendly landscaping recognizes that our landscapes, whether they are commercial, institutional, residential or open space, are part of the larger ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay Area. It does not mean that the landscape must be wild and uncontrolled, but rather on the whole, it respects the natural attributes of our region and contributes to the health, diversity and sustainability of the San Francisco Bay ecosystem.

In return, many of the natural processes of a well functioning ecosystem, like nutrient cycling, can then benefit the landscape you design, construct or maintain. In addition, your clients are re-connected to nature through their landscapes, in one of the world’s most renowned environments.

Explore the Rescape California website for Bay-Friendly Landscaping publications and many other resources for the home gardener.