Todd Davidson of Sage Eco Gardens believes it’s possible to live well and live green at the same time.
His Los Osos nursery specializes in many facets of sustainable gardening. It emphasizes what Davidson calls “California-friendly plants,” meaning drought-tolerant plants from the five Mediterranean climates of the world, including California natives. It offers natural and organic garden products, such as fertilizers and pesticides. And woven throughout the nursery is aplethora of ideas on how to use these eco-friendly plants and products in beautiful ways.
Demonstration gardens and water features integrate everything from hardscape to lighting. Their Australian Garden, for instance, has a drystacked low seating wall as well as plants such as Kangaroo Paw and Emu Bush. Most gardens are drought tolerant, but not all are. The Asian Garden, for instance, shows off a large collection of bamboo, as well as unusual plants such as dwarf conifers.
The most recent addition is the Edible Garden. According to Davidson, there has been increasing interest in home growing produce that is not genetically modified and has never been exposed to chemicals.
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“Most people want to grow their own food simply because it just tastes better and is cheaper to grow than buy,” he said. “Plus gardening is good lowimpact healthy exercise.”
Sage has expanded its selection of certified organic and organically grown fruits and vegetables for the garden. This includes vegetable starts, strawberries, blueberry bushes, artichokes, dwarf fruit trees and avocado trees. It also has added to the stock of certified organic vegetable seed.
It isn’t mandatory to have a huge backyard to grow your own food. Davidson recently constructed an “edible table” at the nursery. Built from wood and slate, it has planters down the center that can be filled with lettuces, allowing diners to pick their own salad right at the table.
Landscaping with drought-tolerant plants offers its perks. In the days of rising water rates, using less water in the garden and on lawns can be a significant money saver. Many drought-tolerant plants are also low-maintenance.
To cater to the county’s increasingly water-wise population, Sage has expanded its inventory of succulents and has added more of them to demonstration gardens.
Succulents aren’t limited to garden beds and pots. Davidson likes to tuck them into the crevices of a dry-stacked rock wall. Sage also offers modular panels so customers can create succulent walls. The panels have pockets that can be planted with succulents, herbs, lettuces or houseplants. Attached to a wall, they can be living art, a novel picture frame or added insulation for exterior walls.
If putting all of these elements into practice seems daunting, Sage offers landscape design, installation and maintenance services with an emphasis on sustainable design.
Sage also hosts garden talks on the first Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. Bring your own lawn chair. The topic for Aug. 6 will be Landscape Design Fundamentals.
Sage Eco Gardens & Nursery is at 1188 Los Osos Valley Road in Los Osos, 528-1800.