West County Wildlife Haven

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Sebastopol | West County Gem

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Garden features:

  • California Native Plants.
  • Extensive Wildlife Habitat.
  • Garden Studio with Inspiring Photos, Flowers and More!

Homeowner Terry presents her garden:

I’m so happy to share our wild garden! This 6 acre property, a former Christmas tree farm, has almost 2 acres of habitat providing plants. We are incredibly fortunate to have beautiful redwoods, oaks, firs, ferns, native grasses and strawberries growing here naturally. As you explore the garden you’ll see other natives I’ve planted such as Pacific wax myrtle, California lilac, manzanita, spicebush, coffeeberry, flowering currant and huckleberry. There are also several native bunch grasses, bleeding heart, coyote mint, monkey flower and more than 10 species of salvias.

When we moved here 12 years ago there were tons of invasive plants such as pampas grass, ivy, privet, cotoneaster, freeway daisy, Himalayan blackberry and broom. We have been working on removing these (except a few blackberry picking patches!) while keeping as much of the valuable habitat as possible; pollen, nectar, berries, seeds, water, cover and nesting places.

From our front window we are constantly entertained by our beloved quail- over 40 of them now. I never get tired of hearing their bubbling sounds and watching them run up the path and over the rock wall to eat. Our other resident birds include chickadees, nuthatches, grosbeaks, hummingbirds, towhees, hawks, wrens, flickers and kinglets.

Deer are definitely my biggest challenge since they have access to all of the garden with the exception of one small fenced area near the house. I have a relatively high success rate using deer resistant plants, deer repellant and exclosures for individual plants. Gophers are also a major concern so most plants are planted in wire baskets.

Other than 1 small drip line this garden is hand watered. As we reclaim areas more drip will be added to promote deep root growth and enhanced drought tolerance. To provide water there are two birdbaths, two shallow bowls and one large galvanized tub with a fountain spilling into it.

Many native bees make their home here. There are several locations where the soil has been intentionally left bare and you can easily see the ground nesting bees flying in and out of their holes- amazing to watch!

I hope you enjoy and are inspired by your visit!

Terry Loveton Earthgirl Gardens

A printable plant list is available to download for this garden that lists the majority of the native plants.

Water Smart Plant Label

About half of water use in Sonoma and Marin counties is used to irrigate landscapes. Save water by choosing water smart plants. Water smart plants are:

  • Adapted to our summer dry climate.
  • Need 70% to 90% less water than turf.

Look for water smart plant signs and tags at the local plant nurseries listed below.