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Gardening Ideas from Native Parks and Gardens

There are plenty of great reasons to wander in a garden. It soothes the soul and calms the mind and temporarily at least, allows you to leave your daily stress outside the garden walls. The vista of late Spring in Ring Mountain in the Tiburon peninsula is a dazzling yellow of Hayfield Tarplant (Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens).

A vista from Ring Mountain (Tiburon peninsula) with Yellow Hayfield Tarplant (Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens)

When you are thinking of converting to a native plant garden, these visits have an added bonus because gardens filled with natives provide a wonderful showcase of what your neighborhood might have looked like 50 or 100 years ago. They provide living examples of how different plants complement each other, how they look when they reach maturity, and how big they will get. To see a plant’s growth and habit in a garden setting in your corner of California is usually very educational. In our designs we try to eliminate this guess-work for you by using plants that do well under most garden conditions when the guidelines for soil, sun exposure, and care of young plants are followed.

A private garden in Woodside, CA

Another important aspect of why you must try to visit a few native gardens is that, the variety of native plants is enormous and each garden can therefore be very dissimilar. Replacing your lawn with native grasses or seasonal wildflowers looks very different from using shrubs with edible berries like Rhus Ovatum (Sugar Bush) and Vaccinium Ovatum (Evergreen Huckleberry). Visiting gardens allows you to make a decision on the type of look that you’d like to have in your landscape.

Our list of native gardens and preserves is organized regionally. We always appreciate submission of gardens that we have omitted, please use our comment form, click here, to send us as much information as you can, so we can include it in our listing.

Click on each region below to see the gardens in that region.

Marin/Vallejo/Napa and Northern California

Sacramento and Central Valley

East Bay--Milpitas to Berkeley

Peninsula--Mountain View to San Francisco

South Bay--Sunnyvale to San Jose

San Jose to Monterey--South of San Jose

Sierra Foothills

Monterey to Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara to San Bernardino/Laguna Beach

Bernardino/Laguna Beach to San Diego

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