About the Garden
The Richmond Low Water Demonstration Garden is a water-efficient demonstration garden that currently contains six distinct areas, each featuring low-water and drought-tolerant plants. This garden is inspired by the principles of East Bay Municipal Utility District’s award-winning book, Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region and is designed to foster a deeper understanding of resource-efficient gardening.
The plants in this garden have evolved to thrive in areas with low to moderate amounts of water during the warm, dry summer months. Each of the six sections illustrates a different approach to using summer dry plants in gardens and show that gardens that use water and other natural resources wisely can be beautiful and good for the environment.
The sections are:
- California Native GardenPhoto Courtesy of Annie's Annuals & Perennials
- Succulent Garden
With their distinctive colors, form and beautiful flowers, succulents are highly prized by many gardeners. They adapt well to the driest conditions, using leaves and roots to store water. The plants in this garden receive little supplemental water during the summer.
- Habitat Garden
Many animals are naturally attracted to certain kinds of plants that provide them with food and shelter, and some, such as hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, and bees, are also important plant pollinators. The plants in this area are chosen for their flowers and food resources. They are from a number of areas and include many California natives.
- Mediterranean Garden
California is one of only five Mediterranean climates on earth, with long, warm, and dry summers followed by cool, rainy winters. Plants from these climates are popular and flourish in California gardens. The plants in this section are from the other Mediterranean climate areas, except for the large oak trees which grew here before the garden was planted.
- Mixed California Native and Mediterranean Garden
This garden is a mix of California Native plants and Mediterranean (non-CA Native) plants, with an emphasis on plants native to California. This garden illustrates the similarities and differences of plants from various Mediterranean areas, and how they can be effectively combined in a low water garden.
- Mixed Mediterranean and California Native Garden
This garden is a mix of Mediterranean (non-CA Native) plants and California Native plants with an emphasis on Mediterranean plants not native to California. The garden illustrates the similarities and differences of plants from various Mediterranean areas, and how they can be combined in a low water garden.
The garden features examples of plants that can be locally obtained and are known to do well in Western Contra Costa County. It represents the beautiful aesthetics of plants that are adapted to our summer-dry state and to local conditions.
UC Master Gardeners hold workshops, classes, and talks at the garden and at the Richmond Public Library, next door to the garden. They are proud to call this garden their own and feel up to the task of achieving their mission through their own efforts, and the collaborative efforts of their partner, the City of Richmond, and with support from EBMUD.
The garden is tended by the volunteers of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County. We are out working in the garden every Friday from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm. You're welcome to stop by and chat.
The History of the Garden
This garden was installed in August 2005, as a joint project of the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and the City of Richmond.
Originally named the "Water Conserving Demonstration Garden," it was maintained by the City of Richmond until January 2018, when it was adopted by the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County. Our UC Master Gardener volunteers began applying their TLC in May 2018.