Steps to Help You Design Your Garden using Native Plants
Prioritize the areas you wish to landscape and perhaps start with one or two sections of your yard. For EACH area of your garden, map out what you have:
Research possible plants for use in your design:
Compile a plant list
If you have a "theme" you are trying to follow such as butterfly plants, bird-friendly plants, deer resistant plants, drought tolerant plants, etc. you will find many plant lists with this emphasis on our website and may wish to start with some of the favorite plants from these lists.
Planning Considerations: (MANY!)
A novice gardener can never foresee all the nuances that come with years of practical gardening experience, hence the phrase, "Live and Learn." If this is your first experience with plants, native or not, seek out advice from those who have done this before. This may be a garden consultant, designer, landscaper or nursery professional.
If you have questions about your garden design, please bring your scale drawing with you when you come to the nursery. This will help us to help you better.
Professional advice can save you many dollars in avoided mistakes. Shade plants will not grow in the sun and vice-versa. Plants that like it dry in the summer will not appreciate regular water.
Yerba Buena Nursery has a Garden Consultation Service which makes house calls. The cost for a visit and report is $300. More information can be found about that here.
Executing your Design
Depending on whether you need an irrigation system installed, require weeds or existing landscape to be removed, or hardscape work to be performed (rock walls or paths), you may choose to work with a contractor, your gardener, or to do the work yourself. Most of our customers choose to hand water their plants and install the plants by themselves. If you are doing the work yourself, here’s what’s next:
Once you have documented your plan, you will want to select your plants at the Nursery. Keep in mind that most likely you will not find all the plants you have specified at any one time. You may have to make substitutions (which we can help you with), or choose to wait until the plants you want become available.
Also, resist the tendency to over-plant and instead, complete your garden in "waves." Put in the main plants and add layers of plants as they become available or as you have time.
Be prepared to put your plants in the ground within a short time of taking them home. It is much harder to care for plants in the pot than plants in the ground.
Transplanting & watering techniques are detailed here. Read & follow these instructions carefully. We receive many phone calls from customers who have not followed these transplanting instructions and are having problems with the performance of their plants. We are generally unable to help when a mistake has been made at this crucial stage in the plant's care.
Once the plants are in the ground, make sure they are properly watered. All native plants, drought tolerant or not, require water to establish their root system in a new environment. This usually takes at least 1 year, during which the plants need to be watered either by you or by the rain. The amount of water you give the plants will depend on many factors: type of plant, type of soil, climate in your area, etc. With few exceptions, you would NEVER want to keep any plant constantly wet, and the water required to establish a plant might be a single weekly watering. Check with us if you have any questions about your watering techniques.
Again, our Garden Consultation Service is available to come on-site and help you with the installation of your plants. We can send our designer to your home to position the plants where the holes are to be dug and we can also supervise your gardeners to make sure the roots of the plants, size of the holes and other details are properly done.
Enjoy the process of creating your garden. Your garden will be like no other. It will be a place of refuge for you and the wildlife your native plants invite.
Yerba Buena Nursery
Open Tuesday - Saturday 9 am-5 pm CLOSED Sundays & Mondays