Garden Description

The Temple garden is an upgrade of a 75-year-old landscape, which included nearly 8,000 square foot of difficult-to-maintain lawn.

The objectives were to reduce the lawn area to a more aesthetic landscape and to lower maintenance costs which was achieved by utilizing mostly California native plants, while retaining key specimen palm and citrus trees and one spectacular cactus. The newly planted garden has already resulted in landscape that is more attractive to birds, bees and butterflies as well as the temple members and the neighboring community. More than half of the lawn area has been replaced with low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub and groundcover plants and meandering paths.

The native plants are mostly from the Coastal Sage Scrub plant association, grouped according to sun exposure and water requirements. The garden provides new visual and sensory experiences with yearlong color of foliage and blooms. Flowers with colors ranging form the cool blue of wild lilac to the yellow-orange of monkey flowers and white (later brown) buckwheat attract a myriad of birds, bees and butterflies. And there is fragrance, too, mostly from the various sage species. In what is called the “fragrant sage mound,” there are plantings of ‘Bee’s Bliss,’ a gray-green low ground cover cultivar that surrounds accent plants of ‘Winifred Gillman,’a Cleveland sage selection noted for its exceptional fragrance and bright blue flowers.

The garden has required very little maintenance. Mulch was used to reduce weed growth and retain moisture. Some species have been established with no supplemental irrigation and the water requirements for those supplied supplemental irrigation has been very low.

TBI holds a series of planting and maintenance events throughout the year. Please check out our calendar for dates, times, and volunteer opportunities.

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