The Palo Alto Demonstration Garden (PADG) is located at Eleanor Pardee Community Gardens, on Center Road near Martin Street in Palo Alto. (Map pdf)
Starting in the spring of 2003, Master Gardeners began work on this former streets' department storage yard and turned it into a north Santa Clara county showplace for best and sustainable gardening practices.
The garden, a total of about 7300 sq ft, has two distinct areas - the 'Edible' Garden and Waterwise Garden.
The 'Edible' Garden:
The enclosed area for edible plantings covers one-half of the PADG area. This garden displays innovative approaches to edible landscaping, with seasonally appropriate vegetable and fruit selections. Presenting a set of horticultural "best practices" for home gardens, the beds illustrate the use of proper soil preparation, trellising, staking, efficient irrigation practices as well as a variety of vegetable choices. This garden serves as a showcase for new garden varieties, cover crops, rare fruits, and flowering plants that attract beneficial insects.
Espaliered apple trees
Barrel of mixed lettuces
As of 2008 there are four beds with themed annual vegetables and flowers (Mediterranean, Asian, Garden of the Americas and Direct Seeded), a center bed of ornamentals,high density fruit trees (including pluot, apricot, cherries, plums and apriums), blueberry beds, espaliered fruit trees (apples and pears), various barrels and the fenceline with roses, sage and many more.
The Edible Garden is open to the public on Monday mornings from 9:30am to 12:30pm.
On the first Saturday of every month free workshops (10am-11am) are held with an open garden afterwards.
The Waterwise Garden:
The water-wise ornamental garden (always open to the public) demonstrates how native California and Mediterranean climate plants can be used to create a low water use natural garden. Once established the plants in this garden require little or no supplemental summer water and provide food and shelter for beneficial insects, butterflies and birds. With the diversity of plants and the presence of the beneficial insects keeps the garden healthy without the use of pesticides.
The mulch on the beds helps reduce water evaporation and breaks down slowly releasing nutrients for the plants. The pathways have had a layer of cardboard then mulch to retard the growth of weeds.
On mulched pathways, visitors can meander among the six areas and enjoy the huge variety of plants. The six areas are named: Long Border (1), California native (2), Dry Creek (3), Three Rocks (4), Boomerang (5) and the Edges of the Garden (6). Each of the beds has its own distinct plant groupings as well as common plants that tie the garden together. Look at the Waterwise plant dictionary for specific plants from our garden: Water Wise Ornamental Plants
Signage in Waterwise Garden
Euphorbia and Arctotis 'Purple Torch'
To help enjoy the garden there is signage throughout and lists of all the plants and their locations available at the kiosk.