EARTH & SPIRIT
Honoring California's beauty and diversity through native landscapes
We envision urban and suburban landscapes as thriving, nourishing habitats that bring nature home. Our gardens can be extensions of the wild lands at the edges of our cities. We can offer food and shelter to the birds, bees, butterflies, and so many other creatures that are a part of this intricate eco-system that we're also a part of and rely on. We want to do our best to help the environment, and we do so by planting beautiful native and sustainable gardens. We currently serve a 50-mile radius from Santa Clara County. We offer a variety of design services, from full formal Landscape Design Plans to Native Plant Consultations in person and by email. Please visit our services page for more information.
Contact us and let us help you design an environmentally-friendly and water-wise native garden that honors the beauty and diversity of this place that we are so privileged to call home. Read below to learn more about the amazing benefits of native gardens.
Every day it becomes clearer that we all need to be stepping up to take action to protect and preserve our precious planet. Climate change, pollution of land and waters, and mass extinction are overwhelming problems that can easily make us feel helpless, but we truly can change the trajectory if we're all joining in the efforts and decide we want to be a part of a solution. There are small and big ways we can make a difference, and planting a native garden is one thing we can do now, while enjoying the benefits from home.
As Californians, we are lucky to live in such a spectacularly beautiful place, home to the greatest diversity of plants and animals of any state in the contiguous U.S.A. We've been recognized as a "Biodiversity Hotspot". This title denotes the amazing diversity here, though also means that it is a threatened region with over 70% of the original habitat lost due to human activities. Many species are now struggling to survive as they've been pushed out, eliminated or forgotten from most urban, suburban and even rural landscapes. Let us honor this land that provides us with so much and do what we can to protect it, starting right in our own yards.
Bringing native plants back into our gardens will contribute to their survival, and in turn create vital habitat for wildlife. Native plants also conserve water used for irrigation and protect soils from the use of toxic chemicals, due to their long-time adaptations to this environment which allow them to naturally thrive here. What's more, they can provide us with delicious edibles, teas, medicines, and other useful home crafting materials. As we observe and interact with native gardens we have the opportunity to better connect with the rhythms and patterns of nature. See, smell, taste, touch and listen to the true California and feel the joy and inspiration that it brings.
Providing food, shelter, and nesting to local wildlife with beautiful native plants is very rewarding. When we see fluttering butterflies, buzzing bees, and foraging birds in the yard, it brings excitement and a sense of pride knowing that we've helped create a home for our fellow creatures.
From berries and nuts to greens and flowers, it's fun to learn what edibles we can grow in our gardens that naturally come from close to home. These plants once nourished the native peoples of California and it's through their shared traditional knowledge that today we know about many of these edible offerings.
Most of the foods that we eat daily have origins from afar. While we are lucky to have such diverse options available to us, there is something special about eating foods that are native to California. In tasting the local flavors, we can more intimately know these lands.
Please note that we would also be happy to design for traditional vegetables & fruit trees in your garden, as we believe growing any of our own food is a wonderful way to connect with the Earth.
Thanks to the native peoples of California we also have some insight of the medicinal benefits of local plants. Incorporate native herbs in the garden to make an immunity-building tea for flu & colds, a poultice for sore muscles, a soothing balm for irritated skin, and so much more. Note that it's important to follow recommendations for preparations and uses from a trusted resource, just as with any medicine. With that in mind, it is a beautiful gift to find healing amongst the plants growing in our gardens. The Earth provides medicine for our bodies, minds, and spirits.
Conserving resources, especially water and soil, is paramount in our design philosophy. There are many ways to use water more wisely, starting with transitioning away from water-thirsty plants like turf lawn to native plants that suit California's dry summer environment. Drip irrigation, grey-water systems, pond-less water features, rain gardens and rain-water harvesting tanks are all excellent tools we can include for creating more water-wise gardens.
To ensure the protection of topsoil, we design to minimize erosion and encourage mulching, composting, chemical-free gardening, and minimal tilling.