Places said to have a "sense of place" have an identity and character that is deeply felt by local inhabitants and visitors. Below are examples of gardens whose character is formed by California native plants.
Echoes of the Far View
A row of California Wax Myrtles and Manzanitas forms a thick hedgerow along the fenceline on the left. It is pruned to frame the far view of the ridge and hide houses and neighboring properties. In front of the hedge are lower-growing native annuals and perennials.
Aromatic Groundcovers in the Orchard
These mature apple trees are underplanted with native groundcovers. Under the tree on the right are Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea), which releases a pleasant fragrance when crushed, and California Meadow Sedge (Carex praegracilis). The grass under the tree on the left is Leafy Reed Grass (Calamagrostis foliosa) which has showy seed heads starting in the spring. Native grasses are a caterpillar food source for Grass Skippers and the California Ringlet. In the background are Silver Lupines, Monkeyflowers, and a mix of other annual and perennial native wildflowers.
The Colors of Spring
Early in March, Ceanothus maritimus 'Valley Violet' is in full bloom. Arctostaphylos 'Louis Edmunds' and Pacific Wax Myrtle (Myrica californica) can be seen in the background.
Late Summer Calm
This photo captures the late summer feeling of a native garden. On the right, Golden Currant (Ribes aureum) is going dormant and the leaves are turning yellow. In the foreground is a young Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) with two Silk Tassels (Garrya elliptica) directly behind. In the upper left of the photo are young Manzanitas and further back is a large California Lilac (Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman'). The texture and color give this garden a relaxed feel and a strong sense of place.
Next: The Habitat Garden