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Falkirk Cultural Center

falkirk building w trees

Enjoy & learn from Falkirk's climate-conscious demonstration gardens:

⟩Succulent Garden
⟩Mediterranean Climate Garden
⟩Moon Garden
⟩Serenity Garden
⟩Xeriscape Garden
⟩Habitat Gardens

A showcase of practical AND attractive garden ideas

UC Marin Master Gardeners, in partnership with Falkirk Cultural Center, the City of San Rafael, and Marin Municipal Water District have created several demonstration gardens to be used for public education through seminars, workshops and work parties in the gardens for hands-on learning.   These gardens illustrate many useful and scientifically-based practices such as using berms and swales for water conservation, various forms of irrigation, low water-use plantings, a variety of mulches, composting and hydro-zoning, and planting to promote beneficial creatures in your garden.  They also exemplify how beautiful gardens can be when following these practices!

Propagation greenhouse
Falkirk greenhouse 1
The Falkirk greenhouse is a lovely, vintage, working greenhouse, newly renovated entirely by volunteers from Master Gardeners and the public with donations from The City of San Rafael, IBM and Marin Master Gardeners. It is used for propagation and is the growing home for the tomatoes sold in the spring Master Gardener Tomato Sale and also for plants sold in the Annual Friends of Falkirk Gardens sale in May.

Succulent garden

Come meet our spectacular tree aloes and other amazing succulents!
Come meet our spectacular tree aloes and other amazing succulents!
The dramatic Succulent Garden displays succulents from around the world and presents the fascinating variation of forms, colors and textures these plants exhibit.  They are low water use and many bloom in winter offering bees and hummingbirds much needed food. Propagation workshops are often held in this garden. 
View the Succulent Garden Plant List.

Mediterranean Climate Garden

Mediterranean garden shot
The abundant Mediterranean Climate Garden is divided into the five geographic areas in the world that share our Mediterranean climate; parts of Australia, the tip of South Africa, central Chile, the Mediterranean Basin of Europe and North Africa, and California/Baja. We are part of the lucky 2% of the world's land area that has our climate of temperate wet winters and dry summers. Stroll through the garden by country and see the plants we can grow in our gardens that are non-invasive but originate in these other countries!  Most of these plants are very low water use and are a huge draw for beneficial birds and insects. 
View the Mediterranean Garden Plant List.

The Moon Garden

moon garden plants
This tiny garden tucked away next to the garden gate entering the Beneficial Habitat Garden is to be best appreciated during a full moon.  The plants and the bench are all either white or grayish white and are meant to “glow” in the evening, creating a lovely setting for resting and breathing in the scents from the plants after the sun has set.

Serenity Garden

falkirk house view with salvia
The Serenity Garden is filled with bee, hummer, and bird favorites —plants to feed them as well as houses and water available for them as well.  There are also a number of elements of a fire safe garden, such as a pathway and a dry creek bed to break up the foliage and a metal (non-flammable) bench.  This is the newest garden and is peaceful and serene and humming with activity.  Enjoy sitting on the bench and watching all the action.

The Xeriscape Garden

A very small garden on the edge of the California Native Garden, this tiny area was installed and planted with no irrigation and is a demonstration of plants that exist on rain water alone.  It demonstrates the fact that there are, indeed, some plants that will truly survive our droughts.  

Habitat Gardens

All the Habitat Gardens contain food, bird/bee watering dishes, bird or insect houses, and spaces for nesting and safety.  View the Habitat Gardens Plant List.

The Under Oaks Garden illustrates what to plant under an oak that will flourish.

The California Native Garden is planted with native plants from diverse areas of California. Most must be deer resistant and low water to survive in this location. The large Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) creates space for a woodland garden. Sunnier spots support various shrubs and perennials which bring color from early spring to late fall. View a list of plants currently in the California Native Garden.

Cardboard being prepared. Gail Mason
Cardboard being prepared. Gail Mason
Visit to view our sheet mulching project!
A sheet mulching demonstration project to enlarge the California Native Garden began in June 2021. Today the soil is weed-free, fertile, and ready for planting. Sheet mulching involves shutting out all light to the soil with layers of heavy cardboard, paper, and mulch. The site must be kept moist, a drought problem the volunteer team creatively addressed using reclaimed water available through the Marin Municipal Water District. 

Recycled water keeps the plot moist. Gail Mason
Recycled water keeps the plot moist. Gail Mason
Visit now to see the results of the sheet mulching, and the native planting now in progress. They are Bay Area-centric, provide habitat, and have low water needs. The final phase of the project includes the completion of the water-wise irrigation system, installation of perennials and annuals, and garden signage.

Learn more about the benefits of California native plants.

The Beneficial Habitat Garden was designed specifically using plants that promote and attract a wide range of beneficial wildlife and insects and illustrate alternatives to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers.

The California Diversity Garden, showing the diversity of plants suited for a Mediterranean climate, is nestled against the greenhouse.

For more information

Email the project leaders for Falkirk Gardens

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