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Landscape Committee

Rodgers Creek Stewardship Program
The Sonoma Ecology Center, in partnership with our HOA and the Sonoma County Water Agency, is doing a major restoration project on Rodgers Creek where it passes through our community, It has three aims:
  • to remove trash and debris
  • to control invasive plant species
  • to control bank erosion
At the right
Landscape information is regularly updated under the green tabs at the right. In particular, you'll find items from the Creekside Currents and about the pollinator garden and tree management.
Irrigation leaks
If you become aware of a significant leak after office hours, please call TMT’s emergency phone number to report the problem: 866-324-3704. If the problem doesn’t get resolved in a timely manner (say, four hours or so), please call Kathie Farrell at 707-935-6261 so that she can get in touch with Scandia.
Our charge
The Landscape Committee is charged with maintaining and enhancing the landscape environment of Creekside Village. That's a big job because Creekside is planted far more profusely than most communities like ours and because maintaining our landscape is one of our HOA's biggest expenses. Therefore serving on our Landscape Committee is an important and public charge.
Our pollinator garden .. read the latest update at the green tab to the right
The Creekside Pollinator Garden is located along the pathway to the pond, and the entrance is off Via Colombard between Dahlia Drive and Zinnia Court. The garden was begun in the winter of 2019-2020 by residents Dave Herrema, Pat Young and Vicky Van Meter, all active Landscape Committee volunteers. Dave died last November but Pat and Vicky, his wife, carry on in his memory, along with the help of a few volunteers and, more recently, members of the Garden Club. The Creekside HOA provided the in-line irrigation system while the design, installation, purchase of plants, as well as maintenance is all done by volunteers. 
The garden is a tranquil, beautiful flower garden for the community to enjoy and provides habitat for important pollinators including butterflies, bees, beneficial insects, and birds. Spring 2024 will mark the fourth year of the garden and it is gratifying to see it coming into its own with over 80 varieties of pollinator plants, including a large patch of narrowleaf and showy milkweed – essential plants for monarch butterflies. The plants include California natives and other low water use varieties. Quail and other birds frequent the garden, as do many bee and butterfly pollinators.
The garden has become a popular place for residents to meander and watch the wildlife. There is a place to sit and most of the plants are labeled in case anyone wishes to try them in their gardens. 
Some of our favorite plants are the mahogany poppies and Indian blankets in early spring; the cupheas, catmints, salvias, and bee balm in the summer; and the 10-foot-tall Maximillian sunflowers in the fall. Also, check out the California Dutchmans pipevine growing on the crape myrtle tree behind the chairs. This California endemic is the only host plant of the beautiful Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly. 
You are invited to enjoy the garden’s plants and animals throughout the seasons. If the spirit and body moves you, we can always use help with weeding and pruning. Just contact Pat Young or Vicky Van Meter if you would like to help.
The Landscape Committee is chaired by Kathie Farrell.
 The pollinator garden -- May 2021
A monarch in the pollinator garden in August
Pollinator Garden Updates
March 2023
February 2023
November 2022
     California Wild Rose (Rosa California) grows through the coast and foothill areas of California, and in the mountains up to 6000 feet. It’s deciduous, reaches a height of up to six feet, and spreads to form a thicket loved by birds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. This rose will grow in sun, part shade, or shade, with low to moderate water needs. You might enjoy it in your garden if you have a lot (a whole lot!) of room for a shrub with prickly, curving stems...or you might prefer to enjoy it in the pollinator garden in the section behind the chairs. 
     Please enjoy the garden. It won’t be long before we head into winter and lose many of the seasonal flowering perennials. Watch for wintering varieties that were planted specifically for pollinators during this time of year. There’s always something to discover in the garden.
                          Dave Herrema
September 2022
     What’s happening in the pollinator garden?
     The garden is always in transition. The idea is to have something
in bloom year-round to provide
food for the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Many plants have flowered and are well past looking their best, but others are at their peak right now—and I’m looking forward to those yet to flower: say hello to the crimson Pineapple sage and the giant yellow Maximilian sunflowers. The goldfinches have been enjoying the seeds on the cornflowers and the bog sage, and the quail have benefitted from the cover provided by the garden and the water in the birdbaths.
We have been busy the last few weeks and have recently added several plants that have been on the drawing board since Day 1 (two years ago!). These are California sagebrush, St. Catherine’s Lace, Red-flowered and Sulphur buckwheat, White and Purple sage and Coyote mint. These will be hand-watered through next summer and then will be on their own. The Summer 2022 plant list is at 80 species, hybrids, and cultivars. You can find a laminated copy of the plant list at the garden. I’m still looking for a dozen or so hard-to-find plants to fill in here and there.
     Sig Rundstrom has been working on a series of lovely paintings of flowers in the garden. He has completed 30 paintings so far and is looking for a venue to exhibit his work. You can see his paintings if you go online to Fine Art America/Sig Rundstrom/Pollinator Garden collection. You can find Sig and his dog, Maggie, most mornings in the garden if you visit early.
                         —Dave Herrema
January 2022
    The garden looks pretty ratty right now. Many of the perennials have been cut back already (with several more to follow) to get ready for the spring explosion.
    There’s always time to plan and ponder and dream. If I’m doing this on-line, a few of my favorite sites are Gardenia.net and Boethingtreeland.com. Each site
has a huge database that is easily searched for almost any plant imaginable. If it’s a California native I’m looking for, then it’s off to Calscape.org, the website of the California Native Plant Society. On this site, it’s easy to find out where the plant occurs naturally in the state, what wildlife it supports, and yet more growing information. Calscape even has a list of nurseries that carry the plant. Finally, I go to laspilitas.com and smgrowers.com, websites for nurseries in Santa Margarita and Santa Barbara, respectively. These two nurseries have been in business for years, have actually raised the plants, and can offer valuable insight as to whether my choice is a good one.
    Personally, I’m a fair weather gardener, but I’m getting anxious to get out and do some weeding and pruning. Any volunteer helpers are welcome! Get in touch at david.herrema@yahoo.com.
November 2021
     The pollinator garden is showing the mixed views of fall. Although the salvias and a few others look their best, many other plants have turned to seed and are withering. But that’s the way it’s supposed to be...the way that nature intends it. Our winter birds (sparrows, thrushes, chickadees, etc.) have returned in time to benefit from all the seed production. And our year- around goldfinches and house finches have definitely found this new bounty in our neighborhood. If you have time to sit quietly near the garden in the next few weeks and months you will delight in all the bird activity.
     Many insects, especially the early stages of life in butterflies and moths (egg, larva, and chrysalis), over- winter in the mulch on the ground. Many bees also benefit from the same shelter. So the garden team plans to leave things as they are for most of the fall and winter and then trim things up before the spring explosion. This will allow some plants to re-seed and the roots to get bigger and stronger.
     California has a collapsing population of pollinators. Here are three things that home gardeners can do to help:
1. Plant and grow native flowers.
2. Avoid the use of pesticides.
3. Allow some messiness (i.e., seeds on plants, piles of leaves and sticks, rock walls, brambles) to provide winter refuge for pollinators.
     One last note: late fall is the time to plant seeds and many native plants. They get their best start in life with the benefit of the winter rains and cold. If interested, you might be able to collect some milkweed seeds from the pollinator garden, and you are welcome to contact Dave Herrema (David. herrema@yahoo.com) for planting instructions.
     We want to thank many neighbors from Creekside and surrounding communities for using the garden, sitting, taking photos, asking questions, and for all the nice comments!
September 2021
One of the most eagerly anticipated visitors to the Creekside pollinator garden has been the monarch butterfly, and lately we're seeing up to four at a time! To help sustain them, the Xerces Society and “Monarch Head Start” recommend planting lots of native milkweed and other flowering plants. Milkweed is the only plant known to support monarch larvae, so we are hoping to witness a complete monarch life cycle here in Creekside. If you would like to help the monarchs, we recommend that you plant some native milkweed in your yard. The two most important varieties here in northern California are Narrow-leafed (Asclepias fascicularis) and Showy (A. speciosa). See Xerces.org and Monarchwatch.org for more information.
July 2021
The garden is coming along nicely. After being away for two weeks, I was more than pleased to see how the plants had grown. Goldfinches are feeding on the seeds of the bachelor buttons and the garden is attracting interesting bees and a few butterflies. Hummingbirds like the tubular flowers on many of the sages. There are a few more “anchor” plants to put in and then we’ll add several smaller plants here and there. The back of the garden, where mostly grasses grow now, will be a project for the fall: buckwheat, sages, and sagebrush, etc., to get started with winter rains, watered occasionally next summer and then no water. It will take two to three years for plants to get their roots down and for the garden to be really established. In the meantime, many of the plants are labeled, so enjoy and watch the garden develop, along with the bees, butterflies and hummers.
June 2021
The Pollinator Garden, located along the path from Via Colombard to the pond, is coming into bloom. With over 40 varieties of flowering plants, the garden will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. We hope Creeksiders will enjoy watching the garden develop and maybe take a moment to observe the many pollinator visitors. The section of the garden closest to the pond has been planted with over 30 milkweeds, both narrow leaf milkweed and showy milkweed, California native plants that are favorite food for the Monarch butterfly caterpillars. We selected plants with an eye to pollinator value, color, season, height, and drought tolerance. The in-line drip system is working and once plants are established, we can reduce the water delivery since many varieties do best with minimal summer water. You'll notice that many of the plants have been labeled.
February 2021
The butterfly garden along the path to the pond is starting to look like a real garden, with over 100 plants of 30 different kinds planted to date. The welcome rains have moistened the soil making it easier to dig and plant our collection of pollinator and nectar plants. Annual and perennial native plant seeds have also been planted, with more plants and seeds slated for the future. It is envisioned that this garden will provide food and cover for bees and other pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies and moths, as well as becoming a quiet place for residents to meander among the flowers and observe the wildlife up close. A special patch of milkweed has been set aside for the Monarch butterflies whose numbers are in steep decline. Residents and their four-legged friends are already enjoying the garden, and the sitting area of three redwood stumps has become a popular spot to relax and distantly socialize on a sunny day.
December 2020
A group of volunteers is creating a garden full of flowers for pollinators – butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and insects. You are invited to join in the fun! Butterfly populations are in steep decline. Since the 1980s there has been a 99.4% decline in the overwintering populations of monarch butterflies in California, as a result of habitat loss, climate change, and pesticide use. The latest surveys indicate that the overwintering populations on the central coast have declined 86% in the last year alone. Nearly all ecosystems on earth depend on the pollination of flowering plants for survival. The garden will be along the path to the pond. The paths and the open areas have been laid out and are ready for planting. This is the site where an experimental field of beautiful California poppies was grown for the last two years. It is an ideal site for a sunny pollinator garden – visualize swaths of colorful plants busy with pollinators, enhancing the landscape and residents’ pond walks alike. The pollinator garden at Cornerstone, designed by Kate Frey, is the inspiration for the garden, which will feature mostly native plants. Kate’s book, “The Bee- friendly Garden” is a great guide. Spring blooms are just around the corner, and everyone is welcome to enjoy them. You are invited to help with the garden. Please contact Dave Herrema at dave.herrema@yahoo.com regarding future work schedules involving planning, weeding, digging, and planting.
Tree Management
Tree management - January 2022
Zinnia trees - March 2022