Daily Acts now offering “Sustainable Services”

Need Help with Your Yard?

Daily Acts is excited to pilot a new fee-for-service arm of the non-profit, called Sustainability Services! This is a great option if the DIY part of your landscape transformation is a bit daunting, or if you’d like help planning your personal garden paradise. We love to work with homeowners (and renters!) who want to do some of the work themselves so they can learn and keep costs down, but who need help with clarifying their vision, choosing plants, and with technical questions and hands-on support during installation. Plus, you can feel good knowing that your fees are helping a great, local non-profit grow their impact and fund community-enriching projects.

We provide garden consultations, design services, and DIY installation support. Our goal is to help clients create verdant, abundant landscape oases that are water-wise, multi-functional, and gorgeous! We focus on drought-tolerant plants that are edible, medicinal, and habitat-providing. Rainwater harvesting and graywater reuse systems can also be incorporated into designs to reduce long-term costs and make your landscape even more eco-groovy.

Here are a few of the multi-functional, water-wise plants that are staples in our design palette. They are beautiful, good for pollinators, and useful to people! This is a list for sunnier locations, but keep an eye on this column for a great list of water-wise shade plants.

 

Persimmon: Diospyros kakiPersimmons are an edible winter delight and a beautiful landscape plant. Its big leathery leaves are chartreuse in spring and brilliant orange in fall, before they shed to expose shiny fruit hanging like Christmas ornaments. There are two types: Fuyus have apple shaped fruit (seen here), which can be eaten when still crunchy, while Hachiya varieties have acorn shaped fruit, which should be eaten when very soft and ripe. You can slice and dry either variety when less than ripe to remove their astringency. A hardy tree, not prone to disease, that requires minimal pruning.
Plant Size: 20’-30’ tall
Exposure: full sun preferred
Soils: tolerant of many soils
Water Use: low to moderate

Pineapple Guava: Feijoa sellowianna
This is such a fun one because it’s a fruit bearing evergreen. It’s a very low-maintenance shrub with showy edible flower petals that taste like cotton candy, gray-green foliage, and unusually tropical fruit. Feijoa is a nice multi-functional replacement for box hedges, or it can be trained as a tree or for screening.
Plant Size: 6’-12’ tall & wide.
Exposure: full sun
Soils: tolerant of many soils
Water Use: low to moderate

CA Lilac: Ceanothus spp.Oh Ceanothus! This native shrub is available in every shape and size, and just brings so much multifunctional joy. Its small, dark evergreen leaves are adorned with dense puffs of white to lilac to blue flowers in early spring, providing essential pollinator habitat when not much else is blooming yet. It’s also a nitrogen fixer, and its flowers make a great exfoliating facewash when rubbed in your hands with water. Like many California natives, be careful not to over water and provide good drainage. Place where is can express itself as it does not favor too much pruning. If you have deer, go for a small leaved variety.
Plant Size: huge variation in size depending on variety
Exposure: Small leafed varieties like full sun, larger leaved varieties can take part shade
Soils: Lean and well draining
Water Use: very low to low

Catmint: Nepeta spp.Catmint is one of those rare herbaceous perennials that looks pretty good year round. They are neatly mounding and covered in lilac flowers most of the summer, and always abuzz with bees. Gophers and deer mostly leave them alone, and of course cats love it. Also useful as a mint substitute for culinary use and medicinally.
Plant Size: 2’ wide x 1’ tall.
Exposure: Sun
Soils: tolerant of many soils
Water Use: low to moderate

Artichoke: Cynara scolymus
People don’t always think of artichokes as a landscape plant, but they are gorgeous! They provide a great textural statement with their large, sagey leaves, and if you don’t harvest the artichoke heads they will turn into psychedelically bright purple flowers cherished by bees. Artichokes also have medicinal properties. Artichoke plants are gopher candy though, so make sure they’re in a basket.
Plant Size: 4’ tall & wide
Exposure: full sun
Soils: tolerant of many soils
Water Use: low to moderate

 

You can contact us at www.dailyacts.org/sustainabilityservices or by calling (707)789-9664. We hope to visit you in your garden soon!

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