Paradise Hills Native Garden

Photo of new leaves on a Coast Live Oak.
Bronzy new growth, Coast Live Oaks in Paradise Hills Native Garden.

Paradise Hills Native Garden, 6800 Potomac Street, San Diego, CA, 92139

In 2017 a group of Southeastern San Diego community members began advocating for improving the covered landfill at Paradise Hills Community Park with a native plant demonstration garden. The proposal was met with interest by the City of San Diego, but no funds were available.

So we founded Paradise Gardeners, a California Garden Clubs, Inc. member club, to apply for grants and obtain funding to make it happen.

On September first of 2020 we began the physical aspects of the project with the planting of eight native Engelmann Oaks in the parking area. After the addition of walking paths and the installation of boulders, the first larger scale planting happened in March of 2021. Installation phases are largely completed, but work is ongoing, aided by community volunteers and allied groups. The installation phases have been fully funded through grants received. The City has provided gravel for improving and adding walking paths. Interpretive signage has been installed and continues to be added.

We need more volunteers for weeding, mulching, planting, maintenance and planning – please contact us if you’re interested in this project. Your membership and donations are also vital to the garden’s success!

Covered landfill site before the demonstration garden installation.
The project site, a covered landfill within Paradise Hills Community Park, pictured above in April of 2020. The site is accessed from the parking area at 6800 Potomac Street, San Diego, CA 92139, southwest of the intersection of Paradise Valley Road and Potomac Street.
Drawing shows the design for the garden.
Concept drawing shows Native Garden(s) layout.

Creating a Nature-Partnering Demonstration Garden

Environmental concerns prohibit installation of irrigation systems, so plants are selected that need only modest hand watering to become established. Once establish, these plants will require little to no supplemental watering.

Flowers and log bench.

Many plants are particularly interesting in spring. Benches, including rustic log benches, are added.

California native wildflowers.
Native California wildflowers, Paradise Hills Native Garden.

The demonstration garden roughly follows the perimeter of the covered, 1960s era landfill, and is composed of three associated gardens— a pollinator garden, a native garden that includes a small stand of oaks (trees planted outside the landfill perimeter), and an ethnobotany garden. The ethnobotany garden provides information about the indigenous Kumeyaay Nation that has historically lived in, and traveled about, our area. The plantings in this area will share the many ways the Kumeyaay used the plants for materials, tools, food and medicine.

Monarch butterfly on Narrowleaf milkweed.
The gardens are always abuzz with pollinators.

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