Recently I drove along with our President and Director of Business Development to one of our current landscape installation projects in the East Bay.  It’s the West Gate Cherry Tree Project in Berkeley.  In fact, it is right outside of the west entrance to UC Berkeley.

The purpose of the project is to recognize the societal contributions of the Japanese graduates.  It was entirely funded by the California Japanese American Alumni Association.

The project includes – planting 35 Akebono flowering Cherry trees on the University Drive medians. Incidentally, the common name for these trees is “Daybreak Cherry tree”.  Akebono means daybreak or dawn in Japanese.  They bloom magnificently in the spring and happily, they are drought resistant.

We are also planting Agapanthus, Hypericum, Prunus trees and installing mulch on the University medians.  Replacing what used to be turf with trees and plants supports Berkeley’s campus sustainability goals.  The project also includes irrigation installation.

The University expects that the conversion from turf to plants will save the University approximately 40,000 gallons of water a year.

It was a great to see the project – in progress – and to get a few photos of our smiling Gardeners’ Guild people.

See the photos.  More to follow.


An irrigation audit – essentially –  is an evaluation of an irrigation system’s performance.   The results provide a road map on how to improve irrigation performance.

It takes a trained professional, knowledgeable in irrigation and the audit process, to develop an effective irrigation audit.

There are three steps in developing an irrigation system audit.

Step one – is to test the system to confirm that all of the irrigation system components are functioning properly.  Often times, significant water savings are achieved by simply fixing and adjusting the existing irrigation system.

Step two –  is to field test each zone of the irrigation system. Each irrigation zone is operated. The precipitation rate and efficiency of each irrigation zone is collected under actual operational conditions.

Step three – in an irrigation audit is to calculate irrigation schedules that are based on plant type, soil conditions, weather patterns, and field test results.

Gardeners’ Guild has had many years experience doing irrigation audits.  In fact, we’ve been a pioneer in the area of water management and have been recognized for numerous awards by the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD).  We’ve played a leading role in the development of the Turf and Landscape Irrigation Best Management Practices.

The photos in this blog are from an audit we did this summer at one of our sites in Richmond.