Miles McKay Meditation Garden

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Garden Features

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Drought Tolerant

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California Natives

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Drip Irrigation

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Pesticide Free

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Permeable Surfaces

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Wildlife Habitat

Initially installed in 2008, our little slice of Heaven was carved out of a remaining patch of Oak woodland chapparal. It was designed to provide a space to pray, meditate, relax, and be inspired. It was to be low maintenance and water wise. Prominently featured are Manzanita, Ceanothus, and Coyote Bush, which require little to no water. Over the years the garden has morphed into small separate horticultural vignettes including a narrow patch of pollinator plants, a Sage Garden, and a delightful eye-catching Succulent Garden.  As one meanders up our windy path, passing through a Wisteria arbor, they are greeted with our Stairway to Peace, a Podocarpus enclosed circular garden classroom, a dry river bed spanning the length of the garden, a tea house, a wild life water station, a rock grotto, concluding with a fairy circle of Coastal Redwoods. Along the way the grounds are dotted with many native California plants and trees. There are numerous benches to rest and meditate. Our Meditation Garden is a certified Wildlife Habitat. Deer, quail, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, and a multitude of birds inhabit our lush serene space.

Plants in this Garden

Quercus agrifolia

Coast Live Oak
Organization

Woody perennial, evergreen tree. Large, dense and broadly rounded with green, spiny margin leaves. Native along coast and coastal mountains from Northern California. One of the best local natives for large properties. Susceptible to Sudden Oak Death.

  • Water: Very Low
  • Light: Full Sun
  • Soil: Well Drained
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Leaf Color: Green - Dark

Rhamnus [Frangula] californica

Coffeeberry
Organization

Evergreen shrub that has insignificant flowers followed by black berries. Flowers are attractive to pollinators, especially bees, and berries provide a food source for birds. Cultivars commonly sold in nurseries have differing growth habits and are often smaller than the species which grows 5-18’ x 10-18’.

Examples: F. c. ‘Eve Case’ (6-8’ x 6-8’), R. c. ‘Leatherleaf’ (5-6’ x 5-6’), R. c. ‘Mound San Bruno’ (6-8’ x 6-8’) with a dense, mounding growth habit.

Note: California coffeeberry was formerly classified as Rhamnus californica and is now classified as Frangula californica.

  • Water: Low
  • Light: Full SunPartial Shade
  • Soil: Most Soils
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Leaf Color: Green - Dark
  • Blooming Season (s): SpringSummer
  • Fruit Color: BlackRed

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Toyon
Organization

California native, evergreen shrub or small tree often seen growing in Sonoma and Marin county wildlands. Lacy, white flower clusters in spring attract pollinators; red berries in winter provide a splash of color and an important food source for birds. The name “Hollywood” was born from the abundance of toyon in the hills of southern California and its resemblance to European holly. The cultivar ‘Davis Gold’ has yellow berries and may be more disease-resistant than the species.

  • Water: Low
  • Light: Full SunPartial Shade
  • Soil: Well Drained
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Leaf Color: Green - Dark
  • Flower Color: White
  • Blooming Season (s): SpringSummerFall
  • Fruit Color: Red

Ceanothus spp & cvs

Ceanothus, California lilac, 'Ray Hartman'
Organization

Ceanothus is a group of fast-growing, evergreen shrubs that vary from groundcovers to small trees, many of which are native to California. They provide a spectacular display of flowers in spring that will attract a multitude of pollinators. Flowers are followed by seeds that provide food for birds. The clusters of tiny flowers range from white to deep violet. Plants perform best with good drainage and minimal irrigation once established. Some do best in cooler coastal climates, but many thrive in hotter inland climates. Pay close attention to the mature size when selecting ceanothus to ensure that it has sufficient space for its natural form.

Groundcovers: C. ‘Centennial’ (1’ x 8’), C. gloriosus var. gloriosus ‘Anchor Bay’ (2’ x 8’), C. griseus var. horizontalis ‘Diamond Heights’ (variegated, 1’ x 4’), C. griseus var. horizontalis ‘Yankee Point’ (3’ x 12’), C. maritimus (2’ x 6’).

Shrubs: C. ‘Blue Jeans’ (6’ x 6’), C. Concha (6’ x 6’), C. ‘Dark Star’ (6’ x 8’), C. ‘Joyce Coulter’ (4’ x 12’), C. ‘Julia Phelps’ (8’ x 10’), C. cuneatus (8’ x 8’), C. thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’ (4’ x 6’).

Large shrubs: C. ‘Frosty Blue’ (10’ x 12’), C. thyrsiflorus (20’ x 20’), C. t. ‘Snow Flurry’ (white flower, 20’ x 20’).

Trees: C. ‘Ray Hartman’ (15′ x 15′)

  • Water: Very LowLow
  • Light: Full SunPartial Shade
  • Soil: Well Drained
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Leaf Color: GreenGreen - Dark
  • Flower Color: BlueWhite
  • Blooming Season (s): SpringSummer

Monardella villosa

Coyote Mint
Organization

Coyote Mint is a compact perennial or sub-shrub with aromatic foliage and a sprawling habit. Dense heads of purple flowers form in spring-to-summer that are attractive to butterflies and other insects. The low-growth habit of coyote mint makes it an excellent choice for the front of a border, along the edge of a path, or beneath larger shrubs such as manzanita or ceanothus. Monardella villosa spp. franciscana ‘Russian River’ and Monardella villosa spp. villosa ‘Mark West’ are available selections from Sonoma County.

  • Water: Very Low
  • Light: Full Sun
  • Soil: Most Soils
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Leaf Color: Gray Green
  • Flower Color: Purple
  • Blooming Season (s): SpringSummer

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