Celebrating Rainwater Management and California Natives

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Sonoma | Watershed Landscape Professionals Paradise

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Garden features:

  • Rainwater Harvesting.
  • Rain Garden.
  • Edible Garden.

First time Eco-Friendly Garden Tour host and landscape architect Jeanna introduces her garden:

This garden celebrates water as it moves through the landscape, and features native and edible plants in a somewhat ‘clean’ design aesthetic.

The garden and home were remodeled in the last nine years with the overall goals of water and energy conservation, food production, habitat support, aesthetics, and personal enjoyment. We wanted to utilize rainwater where possible, keep all rainwater on site during storms, use native plants to provide habitat and food for pollinators and birds, grow food, and playfully draw attention to the movement of water on the property.

The site includes two rain gardens, a patio doubling as an infiltration basin, rain chains from an outbuilding roof into infiltration planters, a rainwater catchment and storage system from the main dwelling’s roof, permeable hardscape, and decorative and functional stone-filled trenches directing roof and tank overflow towards the infiltration basin situated at the low spot on the property. Details for construction of these features will be made available for visitors.

The garden redesign resulted in a net gain of on-site infiltration and a reduction of paved area. A traditional lawn was reduced in size and replaced with a native grass lawn. Decorative gravel paths throughout and several sitting/gathering areas provide access to pleasant spaces for relaxing, working, eating and gathering.

Other features in this wonderful garden include; permeable surfaces, infiltration basins, rain chains and two different rain gardens.

A printable plant list is available to download for this garden that lists the majority of the native plants as well as some non-natives and a few of the roses.

California Pipevine (Aristolochia californica)

Excerpt by Judy Brinkerhoff

IMG_0314The California Pipevine, aka Dutchman’s Pipe, (Aristolochia californica) is endemic (indigenous) to California, and is the sole host to the spectacular Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly. This butterfly is a gorgeous, large black butterfly with iridescent tones of shimmering blue. The pipevine has soft, slightly fuzzy leaves, heart-shaped, and beautifully spaced on a brittle stem. It puts out very strange-looking, U-shaped flowers in the early spring…they look like a Dutchman’s pipe, hence the name. The flowers are pale-green or brownish, with maroon stripes and attract fungus gnats, which enter the flower and in their efforts to escape, get covered with pollen and thus pollinate the flowers. Several pipevine gurus have said that spiders and birds eat the tiny caterpillars as they hatch from their masses of yellow-orange eggs.

If you decide to grow a pipevine, be sure you have good shade, a small trellis to start them on, and lots of patience. The fact that they crawl under dead leaves and debris is most likely a good thing, as the cover gives them protection from predators. A pipevine is well worth the small amount of effort and hopeful expectations that you put forth.

To read the full exert click HERE.