Master Gardeners build low-water demo garden
Over the past year, volunteers in the University of California Cooperative Extension Ventura County Master Gardeners program have transformed space next to the Goebel Senior Adult Center in Thousand Oaks into a living showcase of native, drought-tolerant plants and sustainable garden concepts, said an article in the Ventura County Star.
The "California True Colors Garden and Learning Center" contains a collection of 200 desert plants such as the Palo Verde tree, desert grasses and the violet-flowered foothill penstemon growing along meandering paths and dry pond bed.
"These are tough plants. We don't feed them, we hardly water them, but look how beautiful they are," said Master Gardener Fayde Macune. "They do well with very little care."
Jim Downer, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Ventura County, said the garden also has a research component. Forty plants are "Arboretum All-Stars" — specimens provided by UC Davis that are proven to be low maintenance, drought-tolerant and attractive to beneficial wildlife such as pollinating insects. Others will be trial plants.
The dry pond (right) at the California True Colors Garden and Learning Center.