The City of San Jose created a design contest to solicit sustainable garden designs to promote to San Jose homeowners. The objective is to reduce lawns, reduce water use, and implement positive integrated pest management techniques. The call for drought resistant plants is not a new motto, however eco-friendly pest management is still new to most folks.
Myself and Diane Goldsmith were the co-winners of this garden design contest in April 2011. Since then the city hired Landscape Architect Sherri Osaka of Sustainable Landscape Designs to oversee this project and with the input of many different relative agencies, two sustainable garden designs were born. The original gardens were modified to accomodate many concerns from the water company and naturalists. Native plants are used through out with alternative lists available. The pavement is all permeable from permeable concrete and pavers to flagstone and recycled concrete allowing the ground water to be recharged. Plants were selected for drought tolerance, resistant to pest and disease, color and texture, to attract beneficial insects and polinators, and auroma.
The original schedule for installation was December 2011, but as many different inputs delayed that action, installation is yet to occur. The plots are at the Guadalupe Gardens near Coleman in San Jose. As installation begins I'll update this entry.
As of February 2012, the ground is broken for demolition by Bayscape. Here is an aerial photo of the plot I worked on and a 'before' image taken on a very rainy day. Following are some updates.
The demolition has occured and installation is already in process by Bayscape.
Here are some pictures of the current state. It was a rainy day so the pictures aren't as nice as they could be. The current condition is the bermuda grass has been removed, hardscapes installed, plants placed, a paper liner for the mulch in place, and irrigation drip for the recycled water almost complete. Most of the plants have been planted with a bunch still to go.
A closer look at the hardscapes reveals the many surfaces used to show homeowners what kinds of products are available, such as permeable pavers, decomposed granite, dark permeable concrete and in Diane's plot there is flagstone and recycled concrete.
The layout of the garden is meant to represent a family home front yard. With a path leading up to the entry of the house represented here with a pad of decomposed granite. The small side of permeable concrete is for a bistro table set to enjoy the front yard from an intimate courtyard.
The Ceanothus 'Snow Flurry' are rather small now, but will become focal points in the future as they grow. Rocks and boulders will add to some of the intimacy that is in the design. All the plants are very small at present but will fill the space around them once grown. This ground cover Ceanothus has some growing to do!
The location of the Guadalupe Gardens is at Taylor and Walnut in San Jose, CA. There is a small parking lot on the south side of the park and an area with picnic tables and BBQs not far from the Historic Orchard along the Guadalupe River Trail.
Updated photos of the install will continue.
As of March 10, 2012, the plots are planted and mulch is down. Diane Goldsmith made a visit and took a few photos. Here's an overall view. These plants need to grow! The little dots will eventually be the various shrubs and the two taller specimans will be grown as small trees and are Ceanothus 'Snow Flurry' which have beautiful white California Lilac flowers. Signage and furniture will eventually be added and hopefully the rocks.
It's official! The gardens are now complete (except furniture) and the grand opening is scheduled for Sat April 28, 2012. There will be classes and tours available. As I get more information and pictures I will post it here.
Today was the grand opening of the garden plots at San Jose Guadalupe Park. I visited the site with my husband, daughter and our dog Sparky. Some temporary signage is up until the permanent signs are created.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry' (Wild Lilac), Ceanothus gloriosus 'Anchor Bay' (Point Reyes Ceanothus), Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark' (California Lilac), Salvia clevlandii (Clevland's Sage), Salvia leucophylla (Purple Sage), Epilobium canum canum (California Fuchsia), Penstemon heterophyllus 'Margarita BOP' (Beard Tongue), Heterotheca villosa (Golden Aster), Erigeron glaucas 'Wayne Roderick' (Seaside Daisy), Erigonium grande var. rubescens (Rosy Buckwheat).
Yesterday was another Grand Opening for the garden. Myself and other co-designer Diane Goldsmith were present for the opening ceremony. Many home owners, gardeners and City officials were present. Workshops were offered and many photos taken. An official brochure is now available.
Thanks to Diane Goldsmith for the photos.