More beauty, less water.

The Water Conservation Garden is composed of a series of demonstration garden spaces that showcase drought-tolerant plants from around the world and the many different garden styles possible with this expansive plant palette.

All aspects of water-smart gardening for the Southern California region are covered in our exhibits. Plants from the xeric eco-regions of the world are represented including California, South Africa, Australia, Chile, and the Mediterranean. Water-efficient gardening tips and techniques are demonstrated throughout our 6-acre campus. Detailed water-wise gardening protocols are provided in our Landscape & Garden Resources page. Come by and check us out!

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Butterfly Pavilion

The Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion is a glass and steel structure inspired by Victorian era conservatories, and features colorful butterflies native to Southern California and the beautiful drought-tolerant nectar flowers that support them.

SUCCULENTS AND CACTUS

Succulent & Cactus Garden

Our award-winning succulent garden, designed by succulent plant master Michael Buckner, is a naturalistic environment that features drought-tolerant succulents and cacti from around the world.

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Native Habitat Garden

This ecological garden demonstrates a straightforward approach to habitat creation called plant community design. By replicating plant associations found in nature, a low-maintenance and exceptionally drought-tolerant landscape is produced.

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Water-Wise Victory Garden

Our vegetable garden space is filled with great ideas for San Diego home gardeners, including innovative techniques for improving soil, minimizing water and optimizing irrigation efficiency.

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White Garden

The White Garden is a demonstration of a beautiful garden design that emphasizes the color white in draping vines, soft flowing perennials, and spring bulbs and annuals.

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Gazebo

The beautiful Gazebo lies at the heart of the Water Conservation Garden, surrounded by lovely trees and roses. It’s a perfect locale for a garden wedding, and an example of a targeted irrigation approach.

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Mulch Exhibit

Mulch is one of the critical factors in creating drought tolerance in the landscape, along with use of drought- tolerant plants, and efficient irrigation. Our mulch exhibit shows the great variety of mulches available that are useful in San Diego gardens.

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Sensory Garden

The Dorcas E. Utter Sensory Garden is a Mediterranean, perennial herb garden featuring plants with sensory qualities such as scent and a soft touch.

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Backyard Makeover Exhibit

The Backyard Makeover exhibit demonstrates a lawn alternative surrounded by blooming drought-tolerant shrubs against a tall fescue lawn in the same square footage.

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Container Exhibit

Our Container Patio exhibit showcases container design techniques and drought-tolerant plants that grow well in containers.

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Amphitheater

The Water Conservation Garden’s outdoor Amphitheater holds several hundred guests and is surrounded by a display of drought-tolerant pine trees from around the world.

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Avoiding Erosion

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Turf Tips

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Permeable Pavement

Perfect Planting