Garden Tours Get Better and Better

Aug 29, 2022

Garden Tours Get Better and Better

Aug 29, 2022

by Cynthia Kerson 

Being a UC Master Gardener of Napa County has many joys in volunteering to educate home gardeners. In between volunteering, our members decided to tour each others gardens during spring and summer months. Besides being fun and sharing camaraderie, we learn new things to pass along to others. This is the third installment of this summer's tours.

As usual we toured two gardens. First, we enjoyed a lovely garden setting in northeast Napa. In driving up to the house the owner showed us a stand of conifers recalling the years the property was a Christmas tree farm. One MG recalled the annual fights with her brother over which tree they would take home. It also retains some trees from the 2017 fire, showing just how close that fire came to their home. 

Once reaching the home, surrounding the property around the home and pool, natives and pollinator plants thrive along with roses and oaks, fir and maple trees creating a perfect balance between well-ordered and natural. More than once we heard the owner say that this or that plant was a volunteer. Some of the plants are mallow, Shasta daisy, buddleia, calendula, daylilies, meadow sage, fuchsia, and guara. It was delightful to see mature milkweed plants. 



Thinking it would be hard to beat, off we went to the next garden. Once crossing a bridge off Silverado Trail and heading west, we land at the next property. The owners built their ecologically-sound home only a few years ago, installed a natural pool and surrounded it with water-loving plants, such as taro, iris, and Bacopa monnier ground cover. The pond was stocked with fish, including shubunkin to help with cleaning. Unfortunately, because the property butts up to a creek, the fish have also been enjoyed by the local river otter.

The owners have a small sauvignon blanc vineyard, from which they plan to make their first vintage this year. We saw many fruit trees, including apple, peach, pear, and even a young kiwi. The veggie beds were loaded with summer provisions. Throughout the property, there were fields of lavender, crocosmia, salvias, rudbeckia, bulbine and native bentgrass which support the natural ecosystem.


Napa Master Gardeners are available to answer garden questions by email: or phone at 707-253-4143.  Volunteers will get back to you after they research answers to your questions.

Visit our website: to find answers to all of your horticultural questions.

Photo credits: Cynthia Kerson

Our fourth and final report for the 2022 season is of a small family vineyard in west Napa and a lovely garden in a well-established Napa subdivision.

Information links:

UCMG SLO-Milkweed

UC ANR-The California backyard

UC IPM-Aquatic pest control

UC ANR-Recreational ponds and lakes ppt

UC ANR.EDU-repository-Weed Control in Irrigation and ornamental Ponds