UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County

Water Efficient Landscape Gardens

Home » Fair Oaks Horticulture Center » WEL gardens


The Water Efficient Landscape (WEL) demonstration gardens show that beautiful gardens can thrive in the Sacramento Valley on low amounts of supplemental summer water.  Our newest WEL garden is the Ultra Water-Efficient Landscape (Ultra WEL).

The WEL is composed of five garden areas designed to offer a variety of landscaping options.  Here are some pictures and descriptions of the areas.  Signs within the garden show their locations, and most plants are labeled with markers denoting both common and botanical names.  Click the links to see the WEL Garden plant list (PDF 106kb), and the California Native Garden plant list (PDF 120kb), and the Ultra WEL plant list.

Read about the Ultra WEL, the newest educational feature at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center.

Want the latest news?  Visit May in the WEL.

Go to Water-efficient plants at left for general information about water-wise plants, the California Native Garden plant list and lists of plants by season.

In addition to water-wise plant selection, the demonstration gardens incorporate various water efficient landscaping techniques.  These include:

  • use of compost to improve soil structure and fertility
  • drip irrigation
  • mulch to reduce soil moisture loss and weed growth
  • swales to capture water
  • permeable concrete walks and patios to prevent run-off


2016 is the eleventh season of growth for the WEL gardens.  To read a history of the WEL gardens, click here.  The gardens are open to the public during normal Fair Oaks Park hours (dawn to dusk).  Take a self-guided tour of the gardens - most plants are labeled. Check out the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center Workshop Schedule to attend a workshop on growing and maintaining a water efficient landscape.


4145 Branch Center Road, Sacramento, CA 95827       Master Gardener Phone:  916.876.5338             Fax:  916.875.6233

Webmaster Email: janfetler@gmail.com