|Mary's garden used to look like these...|
I met - I'll call her Mary to protect her privacy - through sharing plants and seeds I'd propagated. I visited her garden for the first time a couple weeks ago. Mary is one of the most earnestly committed wildlife and native plant gardeners I know.
Mary purchased her home, which is in the middle of San Jose, less than a year ago -- and has completely transformed it from a lawn-with-edging type sterile landscape to one that supports local wildlife, and is sustainable, and just wonderfully full of native plants.
It is a young garden so many of the plants are not yet mature - but there are so many and on a budget this lady has done amazing things.
|In the front yard|
|Looking back into Mary's back yard from the gate into the riparian area|
One reason she bought the property was because beyond the huge fenced back yard, it extends down to and across a creek. This area is very weedy, and Mary is introducing natives to help compete with the weeds, and is taking a very patient approach.
|The riparian area, beyond the fence|
Mary cherishes every one of her plants, and pays special attention to each one's needs. This is a madrone that I gave her in a gallon pot. This one is in a sunny spot, and knowing that madrones grow up through other trees then hit the sunlight, she is protecting this young one until it is bigger. It is very healthy inside there. The trellis on the wall is to diminish the heat reflecting off that wall.
|Mary's Madrone, protected from harsh sun|
One feature plant in the garden is narrow-leaved milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis.
|Mary has planted a lot of milkweed for the butterflies - and was thrilled to see a monarch just a few days before I visited. She's hoping some will lay eggs here - this is their larval food.|
You can see more photos I took of Mary's garden, with many more plants than I have mentioned here, in this Flickr album. I hope to visit again in spring, when so many of these plants will be blooming.
It's so rewarding to see how Mary is having such success with many plants I propagated - buckwheat, monkeyflower, thimbleberry - as well as many other plants from other sources too. So I'll just bask in her glory, till I get back in the swing of things on the Country Mouse estate!