Hero Image

Landscape Gardens

Landscape Garden Plots

Curb Appeal Garden

As you enter the garden, the first display on the right is a section of the garden that we are calling "Curb Appeal."  It includes ornamentals that create a garden with wow appeal throughout the year. The area represents a small garden space and how it can be most effectively used. The raised beds have been planted with a variety of long blooming, evergreen perennials leaving large enough spaces in between to be interplanted with seasonal color.

Additional pots are planted with seasonal flowers and small shrubs to create an inviting walkway. Each of the plants are labeled with identification and general information on culture and uses. All the plants have been selected for easy culture, drought tolerance, non-invasiveness, and high impact. Most of the annual flowers are grown from seed.


California Native Garden

AMFF9908 (2)
Our California native garden includes varieties that grow locally and thrive in our Mediterranean climate. The goal of the garden is to inspire homeowners to include native plants in their landscapes and to demonstrate how they utilize minimum water, and promote a pollinator-friendly yard. Once established, most native plants need little irrigation beyond the normal rainfall and serve as a source of food and habitat for hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. This garden is pesticide free as native plants have naturally adapted defenses against many local pests and diseases. Omitting pesticides enables beneficial insects to thrive and keeps chemicals out of our watersheds. This garden is also fertilizer free and requires little pruning.


Fire Safe Garden

The Fire Safe plot shows principles of landscaping in zones as outlined by CalFire for fire risk reduction. These fire safe principles are especially important to gardeners who live in wild land and urban interfaces in San Luis Obispo County.

The plot utilizes plants and materials that are not easily ignited such as low growing herbaceous plants that are well hydrated, with few woody plants. The selected plants either have high moisture content in the leaves and stems that require little supplemental watering, or they create little biomass when burning. The selected plants are slow growing, accumulate minimal seasonal dead vegetation or leaf litter, and exhibit an open branching growth habit. They contain little or no flammable oils or resins. Plant and mulch choices, plant spacing, and maintenance also play an important role in reducing the risk of fire being carried from the landscape to a home or structure. Pruning and thinning are also required to reduce fire laddering and control fuel load.

This garden feature was funded by the San Luis Obispo County Community Fire Safe Council. 


Succulents and Cacti

Succulents and cacti are beautiful plants with colorful leaves, interesting shapes and simple care.

Succulents and cacti are a great choice for a slow-paced garden since their requirements for maintenance and nutrients are low. They need little supplemental irrigation because they retain water in their stems, leaves, and roots.

The Succulent and Cactus Garden plot shows diversity in form, color, and size of a wide variety of succulents and cacti that grow well in San Luis Obispo County. There are plant selections that grow well in North County that need shade from summer heat, and are winter hardy.  The garden displays succulents that grow well in pots of various sizes with options for plant grouping, as well as container plants.


Turf Alternative Plot

Gardeners hoping for sustainable ground covers will learn about nine different kinds of ground covers/grasses in this plot. Not only do they require little water or mowing, are disease resistant and amenable to foot traffic; they look good, too.

The ground covers are planted in 3 different blocks, which are on three different irrigation schedules. Many of these grasses may be mowed to resemble lawn or left unmown for easy care. Five of these lawn replacements are native to California and four are chosen from other Mediterranean climate regions. All provide attractive alternatives to a conventional lawn. Fall is the best time to plant these new ground covers.


Wildlife Habitat Plot

The Wildlife Habitat plot demonstrates how to attract various types of wildlife into your landscape by providing four basic needs: food, water, cover, and space.

Food can be provided by planting a variety of native grasses, bushes and trees that will offer flowers, fruit and seeds throughout the year. Water sources include birdbaths, ponds, butterfly puddles and ground water sources. Cover is provided by the native plant species planted for food with a variety of plants showing both horizontal and vertical diversity. Lastly, space for hunting, mating, and the rearing of young can be provided by restoring natural habitats in your landscape with natural (snags, dead trees, brush piles) and artificial nesting boxes and houses. A few more tips: remove exotic plants, manage your pets, and always practice Integrated Pest Management techniques. 

This garden plot has been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. It is also certified by the Monarch Watch as an official Monarch Waystation for providing milkweed, nectar sources and shelter for migrating monarch butterflies.


Scent Garden

The Scent Garden contains a wide variety of fragrant plants that are drought tolerant, sun loving, and of modest size to fit our location.

Gardens planned around the principles of varying color, form, texture, and repetition are pleasing to the eye. Using fragrant plants can add another enjoyable dimension to a beautiful garden. Essential oils in the foliage and flowers of the plants are the source of the fragrances. The aromas help attract beneficial insects and in some cases deter leaf eating pests from harming the plants. 

Thank you to AirVol and Farm Supply for their donations of Allen Blocks and soil.