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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Taking a tour of UCDavis Water Wise Demonstration Gardens

I had a very inspiring visit to the UCDavis Arboretum and Teaching Nursery the other day. The fall weather has just begun and the gardens had gorgeous blooms on the Salvias, Asters, Roses, Epilobium, Erigeron and Scabiosa, to name a few.
I had not visited the Arboretum before and so this was a wonderful discovery filled with water wise plantings, a vast assortment of foliages and canopies of beautiful mature trees. The Arboretum stretches over several miles along a waterway for hours of walking enjoyment.
For this visit I limited my exploration to the Teaching Nursery, which was at its best due to the large plant sale to take place over several weekends in October and the first of November, and the Valley Wise Demonstration Garden. These areas are adjacent to the Vet. Medical buildings and corrals along Garrod Drive. (I have included a pic of the sign for reference).

The hummingbirds and bees were active in the gardens giving a gentle hum and vibrancy to the area.
Davis, California is very close to Sacramento and is quite hot in summer and gets cold temperatures in the winter so all the plantings need to be both adapted to heat and cold extremes. 
You can see from these photos that there is no lack of lush foliage or blooms due to these factors and the plantings only require watering every 1 to 2 weeks to stay in good condition.

The Teaching Nursery also has lovely beds of native and drought tolerant shrubs, trees and perennials.
These areas have some labeling as well as the plants in in the nursery. The sales are held in fall and spring on several weekends for purchase of mostly quart and 1 gallon plants.
I spent several hours looking over the selection of plant materials and was happy to learn many new varieties and see some of my old friends on the tables.

This is a great place to stop and have a plant tour, stretch your legs and relax among the leaves and flowers. I also really enjoyed the tribute to Oak trees and woodlands depicted in ceramic mosaics covering seat walls and restroom adjacent to the valley wise garden. What a super project!

Nice Demonstration planting at the nursery with low water requiring shrubs and perennials

Teaching Nursery at UCDavis

Entrance Sign for the Valley Wise Garden in the Arboretum

Great looking seat wall with the life cycle of the Oaks done in
ceramic mosaics

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