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MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin

Welcome to our blog! Written by staff at MMWD, “Think Blue Marin” explores all things water in south and central Marin—water supplies, conservation, new projects, watershed management, and more.

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Oct 22


Posted on October 22, 2015 at 12:47 PM by Ann Vallee

by Christina Mountanos, Water Conservation Specialist

One evening last week, my sweet, elderly neighbor flagged me down as I was parking my car. “I just finished moving these today,” she said, proudly gesturing to a neatly planted row of succulents nearby. Naturally, our conversation continued as she began pointing to other clusters of plants out front. And, a few minutes later, as we chatted cheerfully about geraniums with multi-colored leaves, her face lit up. “Do you want to see what I’ve got out back?”

 Gift of roses from a neighbor's garden
Though reluctant at first, and pressed for time, I accompanied her. We could see blurs of pastels ahead as we snaked through her garage, and I had a feeling I wouldn’t be disappointed. Yet somehow, once we arrived, I was still amazed. A small, unsuspecting yard like mine miraculously transformed into a space overwhelmed with life and color. A treasure-trove of unusual-looking succulents, fruit trees, and flowers, growing wildly, and all centered around a robust collection of random clippings successfully nursed into new plantings. I walked home later that night, arms filled with bouquets of vibrantly colored roses, lemons, and a bag full of cherry tomatoes.

If you ask my neighbor, the best part about gardening is sharing it with others. Isn’t it fun, after all, to share the fruits of your labor (sometimes literally) with others? Once your efforts have come to fruition, to have someone else marvel at your work? And, what I had enjoyed most about our interaction wasn’t necessarily the landscape itself; the best part was seeing her pride and excitement for the work she had done. For an hour or so, it certainly brought us together, too.

On that note, do you have a garden you’d like to show off? What features make yours special? If yours also demonstrates a wide variety of environmentally friendly gardening practices and you want to share, you might consider participating in MMWD’s Marin-Friendly Garden Tour on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Gardens large and small, both professionally designed and homegrown, can participate in the tour, and we’re expanding our search to the Novato area as well! Sharing your garden can be a great way to teach and share with others about Marin-Friendly practices, and it’s also a great excuse to bring our residents together.

If you’d like to apply, we are now accepting applications for host gardens throughout Marin County. Full details on requirements and how to apply can be found on our web page at


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