My SoCal Garden

Demonstration Gardens

Demonstration gardens are generally small gardens intended to demonstrate some beneficial aspect of gardening, such as landscaping with native plants, water capturing techniques, growing food or drought tolerance


What is a Demonstration Garden?

A demonstration garden is a designed landscape meant to illustrate a concept or group of concepts in garden design. Other names for "demonstration gardens" are "teaching gardens" or "learning landscapes."

The purpose of a demonstration garden is to present an example of how common problems are solved with garden design, horticulture or landscaping.

Demonstration gardens come in all sizes, large and small. Some take up multiple acres within larger botanical parks, such as Crescent Farm in the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Others are small parkways at the side of the road.

A demonstration garden exists to demonstrate something, common themes are:

  • Rain gardens
  • Pollinator gardens
  • Climate appropriate plants
  • California Native plants
  • Mediterranean plants
  • Espalier fruit trees
  • Berm garden
  • Herb garden
  • Backyard Orchard
  • Arbors
  • Worms (Vermicompost)
  • Xeriscape

Demonstration gardens can be built by anyone with the motivation to do it. Groups that often build or host them are:

  • Native plant groups
  • Nature conservatories
  • Community action groups
  • Water companies
  • Municipal Departments such as city parks departments or sustainability departments
  • Public Gardens such as the Los Angeles County Arboretum

Some demonstration gardens are created by individuals, such as Ron Finley, who built a food garden in his parkway to show his neighbors how to grow food.

A lot of demonstration gardens are small and hard to find, we rely on word-of-mouth to find them. Do you know of a demonstration garden that we don't have listed? Let us know about it and we'll add it to the list!

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