Palo Alto, CA Community Gardens
Scattered throughout Palo Alto are plots of land dedicated to providing Palo Altans with a place to dig their hands into the soil and plant vegetables, flowers, and herbs. These open spaces are an oasis for gardeners, as well as visitors, who come to enjoy the beauty of the calendula blossoms, the corn stalks, the pumpkin vines, the sunflowers, and more, as well as the large variety of birds and butterflies. The community gardens are inviting places to walk and relax.
History of the Gardens:
The original Main Garden was created in 1970 as a model to demonstrate organic gardening, a return to older gardening techniques. It was originally part of the City's Nature & Science Department and volunteer gardeners were recruited from junior high schools, City staff, and people interested in gardening.
Over the years, demand for gardening sites increased and additional gardens were created. Today, the Palo Alto Community Garden Program resides within the Community Services Department and is the responsibility of the Open Space and Parks Division.
The Palo Alto Community Gardens continue to change and grow with the times. The gardens have expanded to accommodate a growing population, gardening policies have changed to embrace new technology, and future plans are under discussion. We welcome your suggestions.
UCCE Master Gardener Palo Alto Demonstration Gardens:
The Master Gardeners have a new field project at the Eleanor Community Garden where they are developing two gardens which will provide the community of Palo Alto and Northern Santa Clara County with new exposure to our organization.
The first garden, the demonstration garden, shows innovative approaches to edible landscaping. They present horticultural "best practices" for home gardens by using seasonally appropriate vegetable and fruit selections, illustrate the use of garden practices such as methods of trellising, staking, soil preparation, and the use of mulch materials. This area provides space to showcase new varieties, cover crops, companion planting, rare fruits, and flowering plants that attract beneficial insects.
The second garden is the Waterwise Nature Garden. It showcases California native and Mediterranean climate plants that require little or no supplemental summer water but provide food and shelter for beneficial insects, butterflies and birds. The garden is open to the public for strolling.
Main Garden: 1313 Newell Street
Located behind the main library branch, this garden is 60,000 sq ft, bordered by fruit trees and flower beds.
Edith Johnson Garden: 200 Waverly Street Located in Johnson Park.
Eleanor Pardee Garden: 1201 Channing Avenue Located in Pardee Park.