The newly fledged Forrest Deaner Native Plant Garden in the Benicia State Recreation Area has the distinction of being the second public garden in the Bay Area to focus exclusively on California native plants (the first is the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park). This 3.5-acre garden looks out over Southampton Bay, a quiet inlet on the north side of the Carquinez Strait.
“Eighty-five percent of the plants in the garden can be found in Solano County,” says volunteer curator Tim Sullivan.
The completed first phase includes a memorial garden in honor of the late Forrest Deaner, visionary founder of the Solano County chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Other sections of the garden showcase meadowland riparian flora and plants for butterflies and hummingbirds. The second phase of the garden will feature plant communities such as chaparral, foothill woodland, and mixed evergreen forest. The new section will also include 2,500 feet of trails and an amphitheater. Volunteers work in the garden every Saturday morning, with a big workday planned for Earth Day on April 21. Contact Tim Sullivan at (707)747-6204.