A CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT GARDEN

As a memorial to Martha Walker, the Martha Walker Native Habitat Garden in Skyline Park invites visitors to enjoy a unique presentation of flora from all over the State. This 2.5 acre site was constructed to accommodate school groups, garden and hiking clubs and the casual visitor. Here, our native plants are assembled within a garden plan that is not only pleasing to the eye, but also favorable to the plants. Ongoing propagation of native plants from seed and cuttings is conducted at the adjacent Growing Grounds, and the relationship between this propagation center and the garden is an important part of the garden plan.

The garden area is directly north of the Skyline Park Social Hall. It is reached along surfaced paths that are easily accessible to any park visitor. A handicapped parking area is right next to the garden gates, so wheelchair users can roll directly onto the garden paths.

The Garden is designed to emphasize plants found growing within the 850 acres of the park, as well as plants representative of Napa and adjacent counties. Some are gathered from the Sierra, Tehachapi, Santa Lucia and other ranges around the state. The garden is located in the Oak Woodland and Foothill Riparian communities. Nearly 200 species of native flora have been established in 3 groups: (1) Southern and Central Coastal Scrub Community, (2) Northern and Central Scrub Community, (3) North Coastal Coniferous and Redwood Forest Plant Community. Many of the plants are labeled with their botanical and common name, making them easier for visitors to identify.

As the garden project progressed, certain locations were noted as deserving extra attention, to enjoy the view, the flowers or the wild bird activity.

 

The Napa-Solano Audubon Society members donated fruit trees and other shrubs to attract the birds. As a result, bird nesting activities have been observed throughout the garden. Benches have been placed along the paths to provide some great bird watching! A garden shade-education center was constructed to provide a bird-blind from which the birds can be watched feeding, bathing and generally carrying on their lives, undisturbed by traffic and other hazards. Come visit this truly unique Napa garden! As a place for inspiration and learning, it is one of the few places in Napa where you can view so many native plants and come face to face with the wonderful wildlife that these plants attract.