Pollinator and Native Gardens
ReWild & Pollinator Garden ~ Private Residence, Mill Valley
Mill Valley, California
Update: Garden is almost through its first full year, no casualties, lots of growth and all our plants settled in and are creating their plant communites and synergy in their new home.
New Construction can be a gift. A clean slate provides us the opportunity to do better.
The clients and their property had specific wants and needs. Low water, a modern look mixed with organic material. We needed a plant palette that is fire and drought resistant. So we walked in the local foothills and chose the native plants we would use in this garden. Much research and a lucky trip to the California Native Landscape Company "CNL " in Mill Valley, gleaned the very best collaborative Landscape Contractors. Dan Dufficy and Ian Johnson. A big stroke of luck, Dan is a native plant specialist and passionate plantsman and his partner Ian is a Rewilder and an artful and inspired stone person and their workers.
CNL, what a wonderful nursery and company.
Much of this project, commissioned in March 2018, dry river bed and native plants were installed October 2019. We started by creating a plan, working with the Clients and Architect, Heidi Richardson. The house was razed and rebuilt over the course of the year. Working via email, facetime, videos and phone calls we were able to work with the contractors, Hidebrand Renovations on the implementation of the conventional hardscape, steps, fencing, retaining walls driveway and sidewalk.
Flying out in March of 2018, and again in August to finalize plantings and the landscape contractors. My final trip to install this garden was in October 2019.
When I walk through this garden I can feel the energy of the surrounding hillsides and a California aesthetic, mixing hard surfaces with soft river stones, gravel and the organic feeling of large stones and the textures of the leaves in the trees and plants of our palette.
Alchemy is already happening. Pollinators showed up the moment we unloaded the trucks of our native plants.
I am excited and delighted to have been a part of this collaboration.
Now, waiting for this beauty to grow!!!
ReWild Your Garden
Gardener/ / Artist/ Earthworker
PO Box 331
Philosophy: Imagine a garden without poisons, chemicals or plants that are not native. Re-wilding your garden is an adventure that will take you places you never knew could exist. Changing your garden over to a natural habitat, will attract Bees, Birds, Butterflies and a host of other living things. You will spend very little money on landscape maintenance, mowers, blowers and chemicals. You also will have more time with your family, to go out and explore nature. Sounds perfect? Come to a workshop or schedule a conversation/consultation.
Environmental Habitats: An integrated space surrounding our dwellings.
We are a part of this mix and our world would be a healthier place if we all took responsibility for being a better citizen of this planet. I believe this approach is an easy lifestyle to adopt. Planting for your exact zone, (what lived there before folks came in and planted foreign trees, bushes and flowers?) I have become fascinated with the fact that all of our native Plants and Trees have relationships with our native bugs, insects and birds. No Joke. Think about this an Oak Tree can support 535 Species, but a Gingko Tree only supports 5 species. Planting Trees and Ornamentals that are not native is not good for our local birds, bugs or insects. Did you know that caterpillars are the only food for baby birds. No caterpillars, no birdies.
A perfect world has the balance of everything. If we incorporate this mindfulness when designing our outdoor spaces, we are changing the world. No lawn chemicals are flowing down the drain to the streams, rivers then into the sea. There are alternatives to a lawn-like green space, that needs very little care and water. Thinking differently is a brave and wonderful experience and when we lead by example, it makes all the difference.
Gardens/Exterior: Outside green is easy. Organic, or chemical free is the first step. Material and planting choices is the second. Consider your lawn. It takes so much to have one. We have to water it to keep it green. We mow it to keep it short, we have to get rid of the grass cuttings, they typically go to a landfill, and take up more space while they are composting. So think about other things you could do with that piece of land. How about considering a courtyard with large pieces of stone, brick or even gravel. Maybe a add fountain or a pergola planted with grapes and a dining table for entertaining and having supper. You could put in a reflecting pool or for the same amount of water you could have an amazing organic vegetable garden or a small orchard of fruit trees. Yes, the possibilities are amazing.
Going green is easy it is all about the choices we make.
Want more info about ECO-Style?
Give Studio Alchemy a call or send an email.
We look forward to hearing from you.