Native Garden with Kiwi and Cherry


A cracked concrete wall was removed to allow for a much more naturalistic design for this small Sunnyvale front yard. The new planting is composed of exclusively California native plants, including green Carex tumulicola (Foothill Sedge), which provides a stark contrast to grey Fescue. White blooming Armeria 'Cottontail' provides a small garden accent. The new stacked stone planters weave around the existing fruiting cherry tree.

The Carex tumulicola (front, center) provides an excellent accent plant for a small garden. It is highly drought tolerant and looks good year round. Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina' flowers purple throughout the warm months and attracts butterflies. The flowers of this plant also have a pleasant sweet scent.

The front yard is divided by a masonry wall to create a courtyard space. The existing wall was out-dated and had a busy pattern of shapes. In my early discussions with the client, we talked about designing a new accent fence or a replacement wall. However, I proposed keeping the existing wall and adding a new stucco finish. This sustainble solution allowed us to minimize waste to the landfill and create an updated look for the courtyard wall with minimal expense.

Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow) accents a simple path of Arizona Rosa flagstone stepstones. The stepstones lead to a medium size 'sitting rock' that serves as a resting place while gardening. The mulch topdressing is tree trimmings, obtained by the owner for free from a local tree company. The mulch supresses weeds, assists the soil in retaining moisture, and provides a more even soil temperature.

Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer Grass), Epilobium 'Select Mattole' (California Fuchsia), and Verbena lilacina 'De La Mina' compliment each other with varying forms, flower colors, and foliage colors. In designing native plant gardens, I work with foliage colors, texture, and forms. This creates year round interest in the garden in addition to the habitat benefits of the plants. This garden is designed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies as well as please the neighbors and the owner.

Stephanie Morris, Landscape Architect - cell (408) 206.5055 or stephlmorris@hotmail.com