Blog module icon

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.

Need Help?
For tips on subscribing, searching, and commenting, please visit our blog FAQ page.

View All Posts

Sep 19

From Lawn to Bee and Butterfly Garden

Posted on September 19, 2016 at 1:51 PM by Ann Vallee

poppy for blogMarin-Friendly Garden in San Rafael

Cistus in bloomBursting with blossoms and alive with the sounds of buzzing, it’s hard to believe this lovely butterfly garden was once a boring expanse of lawn! Motivated to find a more colorful, low-maintenance alternative to turf, this homeowner decided to re-landscape with a cheerful palate of flowering, drought-tolerant plants. The new collection includes cistus, salvias, verbena, rosemary, and day lilies, to name a few, all of which save water and attract beneficial insects and animals. Bees can be heard happily buzzing among the vibrant blooms, and butterflies and hummingbirds busily dart in and out; even a family of quail take respite among the shrubs!

In addition to removing the lawn, the previous “spray” irrigation system was replaced with a more efficient form of “drip,” and thick layers of compost and mulch now enrich and nurture the soil. Gone are the days of energy spent on regular mowing and maintenance. One of the biggest benefits? The customer has realized significant water savings, reducing outdoor water use by over 30%.

Take a video tour of this Marin-Friendly garden below and scroll down for more photos.

Lawn Before
 Before: Thirsty lawn

Bee and Butterfly Garden 5
 After: Bee, bird, and butterfly haven

Bee and Butterfly Garden 1

Bee and Butterfly Garden 2

Bee and Butterfly Garden 3

Bee and Butterfly Garden 4

View more gardens on the Marin-Friendly Virtual Garden Tour.


Anonymous User
October 28, 2016 at 11:46 PM
Why aren't the plants in the photos named?

Leave your comment

You may log in before leaving your comment,
or submit anonymously