Purissima Hills Demonstration Garden



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This public garden is located at the Purissima Hills Water District in Los Altos, Hills, California. The garden was installed in late 2007. The goal of the garden is to provide an example of a simple landscape that has year-round appeal, colorful accent plantings, and a substitute for turf-lawn to educate residents on lawn alternatives. The plants in the garden are drought tolerant and low maintenance. Many are native to California.

One of the flowering accent groundcovers includes Convolvulus mauritanicus, Ground Morning Glory

A curved walkway leads behind the building. To the right is a dark green lawn alternate: Fragaria chiloensis, Flowering Strawberry. This groundcover needs water about once per week, has small white flowers, and stays green year round. It does not require any mowing.

View of the strolling garden at the side of the building. Low impact walking paths of grey fines are the standard for the Town of Los Altos Hills. Pictured in the perennial garden is Monardella villosa, Coyote Mint and Achillea millefolium, White Yarrow.

Stormwater from the roof is captured onsite through a series of visible cobble-lined swales. The swales allow the water to infiltrate onsite. The soil microorganisms and fungi naturally filter any toxins out of the water as it percolates. Carex testecea, a small bunchgrass, is planted as an accent. This plant aids in the filtration process and can tolerate seasonal wet spells as well as summer dryness.

The irrigation system used for all plantings is Netafim Techline CV. This type of inline irrigation is composed of brown 1/2" diameter tubing with buit-in emitters that are specially designed to resist clogging and rodent damage. The tubing is spaced evenly, about 18" apart. Long run times and low flow rates allow the soil to become evenly moist around each plant, resulting in better plant health.

View of the front of the Purissima Hills Water District. This photo was taken about one year after planting. The groundcover strawberry is just about filled in. A Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps' is planted behind and will provide bright blue flowers in the spring as well as privacy for the building.

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