Palo Alto Demo Garden
COVID-19 update: Our demonstration gardens are now open to the public during events and visiting hours. Masks are no longer required for vaccinated individuals. Please do not visit if you are not feeling well.
Address: 851 Center Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94301 (View map)
Directions: The Palo Alto Demonstration Garden (PADG) is located at Eleanor Pardee Community Gardens, on Center Drive near Martin Street.
- The Water Wise Garden is open dawn to dusk.
- Open Garden Days: Both gardens are open and staffed by Master Gardeners every Saturday morning, 10 am to noon, from May through September (weather permitting). It is an opportunity for the public to explore the edible and ornamental gardens, ask questions, and get plant and garden advice.
- First Saturdays of the month frequently include a workshop.
- We welcome community volunteers during visiting hours to work and learn side-by-side with us.
The 'Edible' Garden
This garden combines fruit trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to create an aesthetically pleasing design. Flowering plants attract beneficial insects. Drip irrigation promotes water efficiency. Exhibiting a set of horticultural "best practices" for home gardens, the beds illustrate the use of proper soil preparation, seasonal cover cropping, seeding, planting, trellising, staking, plant protection, and efficient irrigation practices as well as a variety of vegetable choices.
The Water Wise Garden
On mulched pathways, visitors can meander among six areas and enjoy the huge variety of plants. Each of the beds has its own distinct plant groupings as well as common plants that tie the garden together. For example, one of the areas demonstrates low-water lawn alternatives (native mow-free grass blend, kurapia, blue fescue, dymondia, and wooly thyme), and another bed is planted only with California natives growing under Oaks.
Most of our California native plants are planted directly in our native soil, which is a fertile, moderately well draining clay soil. Our non-native plants have been planted on one-foot mounds composed of gravelly, well draining soil with little or no organic matter.
There is signage throughout the garden as well as information about individual plants kept inside the edible garden. See our Water Wise Plants pages to search for plants to suit your own landscaping needs.