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Sonoma County Gazette

Free Garden Tour Focuses on
California Natives and Urban Gardens

Mar 14, 2018


The annual Eco-Friendly Garden Tour will take place on May 5th! Now in its eighth year, the Tour is sponsored by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership and focuses on low water-use, sustainable landscaping. Tour participants will learn water-saving strategies and garden tips from homeowners while perusing gorgeous gardens and mingling with neighbors.

Santa Rosa City Hall Waterwise GardenFor 2018, we invite tour participants to meet in the morning at the new Sustainable Education Garden located at Santa Rosa City Hall. The day will begin with a tour of the garden before participants disperse to enjoy the rest of the tour. Free parking will be available at City Hall, located close to the amenities of downtown Santa Rosa. The Sustainable Education Garden has been transformed into a beautiful and functional demonstration garden and community gathering area. The garden was designed using holistic water-use efficiency and storm water best management practices. The garden features: drought tolerant, low water-use plants, Russian-River Friendly Landscaping Best Practices, bioswales and bioretention to capture and naturally clean storm water runoff onsite, and rainwater harvesting. During the tour, City of Santa Rosa Water staff will be demonstrating hands-on irrigation controller programming while also showcasing the garden’s highlights. We recommend carpooling from City Hall.

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Milo Baker Chapter will be presenting California native gardens in Santa Rosa. Each of the gardens will have California native plant experts on hand to provide information to visitors. Several of the gardens will include additional activities such as native plant talks, demonstrations, and a native plant sale at the Laguna Environmental Center.

 The Partnership offers a wide variety of local landscaping programs and outreach aside from the annual tour. These programs include Garden Sense, the Water Smart Plant Label and the Water Smart Plant Cards. Garden Sense is a free program open to all Sonoma County residents who want to learn how they can transform their landscape to save water. After registering online, a team of Sonoma County Master Gardeners, trained as Garden Sense Consultants, will visit your home to discuss water conservation practices in the landscape. They offer design suggestions, recommend appropriate plants and provide one-on-one assistance to create a garden that is healthy, environmentally sound and beautiful.

The Water Smart Plant Label Program is a plant label program used by local nurseries. The label is intended to highlight locally appropriate low water use plants to nursery customers. Keep your eyes open for the label at your local plant nursery!

Newly updated this year, the Partnership is happy to announce they have updated their popular Water Smart Plant Cards. These plant cards can assist you in picking out the most appropriate plants for your garden. The plant cards contain photos and general information on 50 different plants ranging from ground covers to trees. Make sure to look for the Water Smart Plant Cards at local outreach events or visit to see where you can pick up your free plant cards!

We look forward to seeing you on this year’s Eco-Friendly Garden Tour! The tour is free, but registration is required at: For free access to computers and the internet, visit your local Sonoma County Library.

Contact Information

Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership / Sonoma County Water Agency
Chad Singleton | Water Agency Programs Technician | (707) 547-1923



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