Mill Valley | The Scott Garden
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Permeable Surfaces.
- Rainwater harvesting.
- Wildlife Habitat.
- California Native Plants.
Scott Garden at The Redwoods Senior Community
The Scott Garden at The Redwoods Senior Community is located near Marin Audubon Society land along Arroyo Corte Madera del Presidio in Mill Valley. Kurt Ellison, the garden Programs Coordinator, has his soil-covered hands full with managing everything from many eager resident and community volunteers, to what to plant, where and when. The garden is comprised of 15 large raised beds, 12 of which are for organic edibles and three for cutting flowers. The beds are waist height (no bending required). There’s a small but productive orchard with plum, apple, citrus, persimmon and pear trees. Wide and flat crushed gravel paths let visitors easily navigate the garden. The perimeter of the garden is lined with drought-tolerant species including natives and succulents, as well as many plantings to attract pollinators. The majority of the plants are irrigated using drip irrigation and the rest are hand watered. This garden not only harvests edibles and cut flowers but rain too! There are three rain barrels that collectively hold 165 gallons used for hand watering. Almost all the plants are started by seed in the greenhouse and the soil is kept top notch with a three-bin compost system and a worm compost system. All the hard work pays off when the garden produces anywhere from 30-100 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables per week throughout the entire year, all of which is given away free to the residents of The Redwoods. The garden is also a popular site for events, bird watching, and serves as a community resource for volunteer workers and families.
**There is no onsite parking at this garden. Visitors will need to find street parking. Please do not park in the Redwoods Senior Community parking lot.
Imagine a garden that is thriving during the drought, bursting with colorful blooms, delicious fruit, the melodies of song birds, and healthy bees. The following landscape elements will help ensure that your garden is slowing, spreading, and sinking as much water as possible rather than wasting it and causing runoff. The result? Lush gardens that use less to do more.
THE RIGHT PLANTS
Every water-wise garden needs the right plants grown in the right places. Native plants are always a good choice, as they are adapted to California’s seasonally dry climate. Arranging plants so they have appropriate shelter from drying winds and hot afternoon sun can also help reduce water requirements. Hardy perennial food plants provide multiple benefits, and even annual fruit and vegetable plants can be grown with water efficiency in mind.
Increase the living sponge of your site with a thick layer of mulch. Mulch reduces erosion, slows evaporation and builds better soil over time. Better soil (ie. soil with more organic matter) in turn absorbs and holds more water. A nice layer of mulch also creates a prime canvas to display your gorgeous plants. Just be sure that mulch isn’t piled up around the stems or trunks of plants.
Swales are essentially thoughtfully designed ditches that enable rainwater to slow, spread and sink into the soil. Capturing water in the soil is the cheapest and easiest way to harvest large amounts of rain, hydrating your landscape and recharging groundwater. Rain gardens are one form of swale. Berm and basin swales, built along the contour of a hill, help infiltrate water flowing down a slope and create a lens of water underground available to plants downhill. Infiltration basins can be either deep narrow ditches or simply holes, which are then filled with mulch to help hold water on flatter surfaces.
Remove hardscape to maximize rain absorbing garden space. Permeable pathways of gravel, mulch, and even brick allow more water to soak into the ground. Consider installing permeable pavers or vegetative planting strips in place of concrete in driveways or plant rain gardens in parkway strips along sidewalks to increase permeability and reduce runoff at your site.
Forget sprinklers. A simple system of tubing and emitters delivers the right amount of water right where it’s needed. You can also easily convert a sprinkler head to feed your drip system, which makes setting up irrigation for your lawn-to-garden transformations very simple. An automatic timer can be added to ensure consistent watering. If you don’t have an irrigation system, get in the habit of hand watering. Either way, you’ll use less water and get better results because you’ll be giving each plant just what it needs.
To see this information and more visit Daily Act’s website by clicking HERE.