Urban Paradise


Santa Rosa | 2,500 sq. ft. Neighborhood Front & Back Gardens

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Garden features:

  • Succulents.
  • Edible plants.
  • Onsite water reuse.
  • Reclaimed and recycled materials.

This Santa Rosa Junior College area eco-garden was established in 2014 in the surrounds of a post-war era bungalow. Built in 1946, the home was a tribute to post-war prosperity and originally housed a thriving young family. After the family moved on the home became a neglected rental with landscape rock covering the front yard and weeds and a single rose bush surviving under the 60 foot sycamore tree in the backyard.

Tom and Sally purchased the home in 2014 with the idea of establishing an eco-friendly and sustainable urban paradise. Tom, being a metal artist, Master Gardener in two states, and professional compost and garden soil developer, envisioned a low maintenance and water use garden. Using mostly recycled materials, the gardens now host a greenhouse created from recycled materials, water feature using reclaimed water, sculpture, and a patio to be enjoyed while meandering casual paths.

Mounds were created to draw the viewer’s eyes to native plants, such as California Buckwheat and Sonoma Coast Yarrow, Dalmatian Bellflowers, and Sunflowers that thrive amidst succulents, cacti, hearty perennials, and other foliage with low water requirements irrigated with caught rainwater and shower and sink overflow / graywater.

The visitors can snack on lettuces and strawberries from the vertical gardens while strolling the paths with something new around each bend. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and other winged guests enjoy this Certified Wildlife Habitat designed to maximize food exposure year-round.

The garden is an ever changing canvas of colors, hues and tones. Visitors find new arrivals almost weekly as the garden continues to evolve as the imagination of the creators continue to refine their Urban Paradise.

Tom and Sally welcome you to their home and sanctuary.

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

Water Smart Plant Cards

The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership is pleased to announce the newly updated Water Smart Plant Cards are now available. The new pack of cards features locally appropriate plants that require less water while also promoting local wildlife in your garden.

Pick up your FREE pack of plant cards at the Laguna Environmental Center on the day of the tour or stop by one of our pick-up locations:

  • Town of Windsor: Utility Billing Office Building #300, 9291 Old Redwood Hwy, Windsor
  • Sonoma County Water Agency: 404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa
  • City of Santa Rosa: City Hall Annex, 90 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa
  • City of Petaluma: Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility, 3890 Cypress Dr, Petaluma
  • North Marin Water District: 999 Rush Creek Pl, Novato
  • Marin Municipal Water District: 220 Nellen Ave, Corte Madera