The UC Davis Arboretum is committed to practicing, promoting and teaching about sustainable horticulture.

Traditional methods of yard care use lots of water, contaminate streams and rivers with pesticide runoff, and contribute to air pollution with emissions from power equipment. Arboretum visitors can learn about more environmentally-friendly alternatives such as Mediterranean-style garden design, water-saving irrigation systems, mulching, companion plantings, biological pest control, and other sustainable practices that reduce the use of water, energy, and chemical inputs and support native pollinators, birds, and beneficial insects.

Choosing the right plants for your garden is the first step. The Arboretum horticulture staff have identified 100 Arboretum All-Stars—tough, reliable, easy-to-grow plants for California. Arboretum All-Stars are available at Arboretum plant sales and, since 2009, have been available through many local retailers.

If you live in the Sacramento region, the Arboretum specifically promotes Valley-wise gardening, sustainable horticulture for California's Central Valley. To learn more about Valley-wise gardening, check out our reference library with articles on Central Valley gardening, visit some of our favorite gardening websites, or take a guided tour.