UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

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.

PADG entrance kiosk
PADG entrance kiosk
This 7300 square foot garden has two distinct areas - the 'Edible' Garden and the Water Wise Garden. The former demonstrates edible landscaping using a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, fruits, and flowers, while the latter showcases beautiful landscaping with low water plants.

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 Road near Martin Street.

Visiting hours

  • The 'Edible' Garden is open to the public on a limited basis when events are scheduled. The garden may be viewed over the fence when not open.
  • The Water Wise Garden is open dawn to dusk.
  • Open Garden Days: Both gardens will be open and staffed by Master Gardeners every Saturday morning, 10 am to noon, from May 29th until the end of September. 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 may include a workshop.
Event Name

The 'Edible' Garden

Espaliered apple trees at the Palo Alto Demo Garden
Espaliered apple trees at the Palo Alto Demo Garden
The enclosed area for edible plantings covers one-half of the PADG area. This garden displays innovative approaches to edible landscaping, with seasonally appropriate vegetable and fruit selections.

Presenting a set of horticultural "best practices" for home gardens, the beds illustrate the use of proper soil preparation, trellising, staking, efficient irrigation practices as well as a variety of vegetable choices. This garden serves as a showcase for new garden varieties, cover crops, rare fruits, and flowering plants that attract beneficial insects.


The Water Wise Garden

Path in the Water Wise Garden
Path in the Water Wise Garden
The Water Wise Garden (always open to the public) demonstrates how native California and Mediterranean climate plants can be used to create a beautiful, low water, natural garden. Once established, the plants in this garden require little or no supplemental summer water and provide food and shelter for beneficial insects, butterflies, and birds.

The diversity of plants and the presence of beneficial insects keep the garden healthy without the use of pesticides. The mulch on the beds helps reduce water evaporation and breaks down slowly releasing nutrients for the plants. The pathways have had a layer of cardboard then mulch to retard the growth of weeds.

On mulched pathways, visitors can meander among six areas and enjoy the huge variety of plants. Each of the beds (Long Border, California Native, Dry Creek, Three Rocks, Boomerang, and Edges of the Garden) has its own distinct plant groupings as well as common plants that tie the garden together. There is signage throughout the garden, plus lists are available at the entry kiosk of all the plants and their locations.

See our Water Wise Plants page to browse the plants featured in our garden or to search for plants to suit your own landscaping needs.

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu