The California State Water Resources Control Board is submitting a  proposal to Sacramento Tuesday, July 15th, designed to impose strict penalties to residents who overuse water.  It would require local officials to monitor usage and levy fines up to $500.

Chairwoman Felicia Marcus says “we are trying to ring a bell and get people’s attention.  Thousands of people out of work. We have communities struggling for water, and bathing out of buckets”. Evidently voluntary conservation has not been effective.  A recent survey by the board found that Bay Area residents have only cut back (on average) of 2 percent.

If the new measure is adopted residents will be restricted from applying excess water outdoors.  Landscape watering that causes runoff, washing a car without a shut-off nozzle, pavement watering and the use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature all will be prohibited.

Residents and landscapers take notice, the State is serious.  There are no guarantees that our drought will end with an El Niño this winter. If  the new rules are appCourtesy of Bay Area News Grouproved local districts will be compelled to file monthly reports on per capita usage of water among its customers.



Copy of DSC02980The increase was approved in 2013 but it is now in effect.  The 9.5% increase is the second highest increase in two years.

EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District) says the reason for the increase is for  pipe and equipment maintenance that has been deferred since 2008.  Many of the districts pipes are more than fifty years old.

The district also needs the money to pay off $2 billion debt for a project that delivered water from the Sacramento River to the East Bay for the first time this year.  Having the additional water meant that the district did not need to ask for mandatory water conservation – at least this year.

What does this mean?  The average water bill customer will see their rates increase by approximately $4.50 per month.  Officials say the rates will continue to escalate.

What can you do?  Save water, of course.

There are a myriad of options for saving water in the landscape.  Ask Gardeners’ Guild  for ideas and suggestions.

We are especially proud of our construction division this year.

Gardeners’ Guild received three awards for a construction project in Mill Valley.  National, State and Regional landscape trade organizations have recognized our exceptional work!  The National Recognition was first place.

The property is situated on a steep slope overlooking the Mt Tam.  The homeowners wanted more outdoor living space and their Landscape Architect, Rebecca Coffman hired Gardeners’ Guild to do the installation of her design.

The work involved terracing to create additional level outdoor space.  A 7′ retaining wall, requiring extensive engineering was constructed.  It was integrated into new and existing levels, staircases and pathways.

Wood decks, flagstone stairs, extensive planting, soil amendments, irrigation and outdoor lighting were other components of the project.

































The Village at Corte Madera is taking steps toward more sustainable practices in their landscaping!

We recently performed some landscape renovation work to planter beds on the east and west sides (against the buildings) of the shopping center.  Drought resistant plantings including Ornamental grass (Fescue), Limonium, Phormium (New Zealand Flax), Cistus (Rock Rose) and Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lilly) were used.  The irrigation system was converted to drip and each bed was mulched.

Pure (100%) worm castings was used as a top dressing.

Worm castings are certified organic, natural and odorless and have the appearance of coffee grounds.  They slowly release nutrients needed for healthy plant growth and increased production rates.  Worm castings can be used in aeration by incorporating it into the soil or it can be used as a top dressing which can then be covered with mulch.  It helps soil water holding capacity and enables it to fight pests naturally.

Do you drive into San Francisco regularly through Marin?  I do – often enough to watch the progress of the Doyle Drive project.  Initially it annoyed me.  The traffic and the construction mess.  Now I’m in awe of the magnitude of the tunnel, new road and the engineering genius it took to make this happen.

Being perpetually curious about the final product I couldn’t help myself from investigating and one day did a web search and discovered a video simulation. It’s an aerial view of the project taken from the bridge all the way through Doyle Drive.

It is awesome!  Check out the link below and enjoy.  I guarantee you will enjoy watching.

To give you an idea of the breadth of the work -I found this plant fact from the website:

“More than 50 native plant species, for a total of 45,000 plants, were collected in the Presidio prior to construction and are now being grown in the Presidio Nursery.”  


Presidio Parkway Video Simulation