Charlotte T’s Habitat Garden

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Novato | Large Mostly Native Garden

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Garden features:

  • Deer resistant plants.
  • Plant propagation.
  • Food gardening.

Veteran Eco-Friendly Garden Tour host and propagation expert Charlotte introduces her garden:

This is a naturalist’s garden; where life itself creates conditions conducive to still more life! As such the garden is ever-changing, and the gardener simply assumes the role of a skilled editor. The garden is large and ever expanding to accommodate new habitat zones, an expanding plant palette, and more water features. Strategic seating areas have been created to allow observation of all the activity in the garden.

The garden is alive with birds and butterflies, native bees and beneficial insects, lizards and Pacific treefrogs. Larval host plants are provided for about nineteen species of butterflies; food, water, cover and nesting sites are provided for more than thirty-six species of birds that live here throughout the year. Nesting boxes, placed within the garden and nearby woodlands, have been home to broods of Oak Titmice, Bewick’s Wrens, Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Western Screech Owls. Barn Owls are in residence again, and fledged a large brood last summer.

The garden is sited in an Oak Woodland next to open space, so great care has been taken to avoid invasive plant species. Deer and lots of other free roaming wildlife are at home on our hillside, and visit the garden regularly. The deer-resistant ornamental front border is planted with a mixture of California native plants, grasses, and drought tolerant Mediterranean species. The food garden in back is the only area fenced in.

‘California Natives Live Here’ and the garden is also ‘Bay-Friendly’ and  a Pesticide-Free-Zone; only sustainable, organic gardening methods are used. Drip irrigation systems are used in some areas, in many other areas established native plants get no additional summer water. Mulch or compost is applied each year to beds and borders; other prunings are used to create extensive brush piles. The boulders, dry-stack stone walls, and permeable gravel pathways create a heat sink, as well as offering shelter for all sorts of small creatures.  Irregular stone surfaces make shallow pools of water available to wildlife; water is also provided in the form of  bird baths, weeping stones and seeps, and several small ponds.

Many of the plants growing in this garden, including trees and shrubs, were started by seed or cuttings, and grown on in a unique home nursery operation. Come see this set-up and get inspired to start growing your own native plants. A demonstration of propagating plants from seeds or cuttings will be offered at 1pm. A Plant Sale, offering a selection of California natives and habitat plants will be on-going during the tour.

With over 45 different species and cultivars of Salvia, this garden is sure to impress! Make sure to pickup a special handout at the garden that highlights each Salvia. Some of the other plants to look out for in this garden include:

  • Ghost Pine (Pinus sabiana)
  • Mt. Mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides)
  • Nevin’s Barberry (Berberis nevinii)
  • Fragrant Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia fragrans)
  • Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
  • Ceanothus thyrsiflorus  ‘Ray Hartman’
  • Ceanothus arboreus ‘Cliff Schmidt’
  • Bush Mallow (Malacothamnus fremontii)
  • Pink Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum)
  • Golden Currant (Ribes aureum)
  • White, Black, and Purple Sages (Salvia apiana, S. mellifera, S. leucophylla)
  • Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)
  • Cobweb Thistle (Cirsium occidentale)
  • Milkweeds – large drifts of 3 species –
  • (Asclepias speciosa, fascicularis, curassavica)
  • Pacific Coast Iris – a collection
  • Sticky Monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus) and hybrids – a collection

California native wildflowers in abundance!

Events at Charlotte T’s Habitat Garden

  • Plant sale 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Propagation demonstration 1 p.m.

Many of the plants growing in this garden, including trees and shrubs, were started by seed or cuttings, and grown in a unique home nursery operation. Come see this set-up and get inspired to start growing your own native plants. A demonstration of propagating plants from seeds or cuttings will be offered at 1 p.m. A Plant Sale, offering a selection of California natives and habitat plants will be on-going during the tour.

Visit the Home Ground Habitats website here.