Drought-Tolerant Demonstration

The Climate Discovery Garden is the largest single demonstration garden on the property. The original garden was designed and planted in 1987 as an example of plantings for low water use. The Thomas Long Foundation gave a generous grant to build the original landscape and dry creek bed that serves as streambed in the winter that helps collect water to be recharged in the ground.

In 2004, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) released a book called Plants & Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates, which was very popular in our region. EBMUD gave the Gardens a generous grant to renovate the area to showcase drought-tolerant plants and sustainable landscaping practices.

In 2022, the garden is getting a complete facelift. Thanks to generous funding from Central Garden & Pet, and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, a dedicated committee of landscape professionals are redesigning this garden space to provide our visitors with demonstrations and information about how to fight climate change in their home gardens. A new pathway through the space offers beautiful new vistas of the gardens. This will be a native plant garden, some native to Walnut Creek, emphasizing how important natives are to water-conservation and to the health of the very soil itself. The mature trees and large shrubs sequester carbon from the atmosphere, making our air cleaner to breathe. Heavy mulching keeps the weeds at bay and the soil and plant roots cool and moist. This environment will attract pollinators and create food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. We anticipate completion of the garden by early fall.

This garden area is currently under construction to showcase solutions to help fight our changing climate.