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California Gardenscapes


Woodland Garden

Landscape Typology: Oak woodlands, Canyons

Places in San Diego:
Mission Trails Regional Park,
Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

An area near the grape arbor, shaded by a large lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia), catalina cherry (Prunus ilicifolia), and black walnut (Juglans californica) was chosen for dry, shade-loving woodland natives. A dry streambed, previously constructed by volunteers added a place-making element. Plants that thrive in dry shade such as coral bells (Heuchera sp.), bush anemone (Carpenteria californica), golden currant (Ribes aureus), coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica) and douglas iris (Iris douglasiana) were added for color and foliage. A woodland garden is an important transition landscape between drier chaparral and riparian ecosystems. Many of the plants correspond to mycorrhizal fungi in the soil that transport moisture and nutrients from wetter to drier habitats.

Helpful Tips:
Allow leaf litter to act as mulch and encourage mycorrhizal soil development. Especially important in a woodland garden are the shadows and quality of shade. Prune trees and shrubs to frame views and allow filtered sunlight. Choose plants for foliage and texture to create year-round interest.


Banner Photo:Mojave prickly poppy | Rachel Cobb