The Habitat Garden contains a bounteous collection of larval host plants that attract many butterflies, bees and hummingbirds while the mixture of California native and Mediterranean climate perennials, annuals and grasses create a kaleidoscope of colors during the peak of bloom summer to fall. The pond in this garden is ideal habitat for dragonflies and the “seep” at the shallow end provides easy access to water. The small lawn is an example of low water-use, infrequent mowing-need turf.
Herb and Native Medicinal Garden
Explosive demand for fresh herbs and reinvigorated interest in the restorative properties of herbs makes this area of Marin Art and Garden Center an interesting place to visit.
UC Marin Master Gardeners designed the Herb Garden in 2011 and maintain it, demonstrating it is possible to grow deer resistant herbs in shady sites using water efficiently. They maintain the Herb Garden and teach classes on growing herbs, harvest and storage as well as making herbal products like teas, fragrant culinary seasonings and healing salves and creams.
The garden includes edible plants, native plants and sweet scented herbs that greet and welcome visitors and add different values to building the soil and attracting pollinators. The Herb Garden seeks to enrich the biodiversity of the site by including vegetable, herbal, flowering and fruiting plants as well as a representation of both annuals and perennials.
To the northeast of the Rose Garden is a serene circular glen, the Memory Garden, enshrouded by a quilted canopy of leaves and adorned by a variety of plantings around a supine stone maiden. Created by the Marin Garden Club early in the history of the Center, it is “a place of quiet beauty for remembering.”
Native Basketry Garden
Also called “Redbud Gulch,” this garden was developed by Charlie Kennard, a talented local basket weaver, who specializes in techniques and materials traditionally used by the California Native peoples. Inspired by an existing natural patch of native sedge (Carex barbarae), the gulch is filled with willows (Salix spp.), elderberry (Sambucas spp.), redbud (Cercis occidentalis), leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis) and other native plants historically used in making baskets. Charlie offers hands-on classes around the Bay Area in these traditional weaving techniques.
The Edible Garden at the Marin Art & Garden Center is a hands-on demonstration and exhibition garden for all ages. We gather here to study horticulture, science, nutrition, cooking, the environment and our place within it. Our hope is that by empowering our broader community with knowledge about food (and where it comes from!), we can empower them to make healthier choices for both themselves and our planet.
In the heart of the Center sits the Rose Garden, encircled by a decorative wrought iron fencing laced with the fragrant blooms of climbing roses. Planted in 2004 with over one-hundred and fifty varieties – climbers, hybrid teas and floribundas, English roses, miniatures, shrub and old garden roses, the space brims with healthy plants, all maintained without the use of pesticides. The bounteous beauty that resides within the fenced area (protected from marauding deer) was designed, implemented and is currently maintained by members of the Marin Rose Society.
The Sun Garden is situated between the grove of magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora) and the Fountain Pond. This garden area contains beautiful, colorful, ornamental, low to moderate water use, deer resistant, fragrant, low maintenance plants.
Hundreds of plants are grown each year in the nursery, starting from seeds or cuttings, many taken from “mother plants” growing in Center gardens. Plants are grown for use at the Center, for sale at educational programs and for donation to schools and other non-profits wishing to create habitats. The nursery facility is also used to teach classes on practical plant propagation through the seasons.