Steve and Linda Cochrane's Garden
Gardening experience: New native plant garden was installed in December of 2005Prior native gardening experience at this site: 18 years.
Garden size: 1,000 sq. ft. front garden only on tour
Showcase feature: This steep garden, once over-run with ivy, juniper, and camillias, was transformed in the winter of 2005 by Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds. Non-natives were replaced with plants from the oak woodland and coastal plant communities. A small Sierra Nevada garden runs along the upper driveway. Stacked boulder retaining walls now curve gracefully around the border of the lot, wrapping around the next-door-neighbor's parcel. The same suite of plants found in the Cochrane's garden have been planted in the neighbor's garden; the continuation of the retaining wall and choice in plants nicely blurs the property line between the two lots. Stone switchback path leads up to the house.
Other garden attractions:
- Pokey stick teepees dissuade browsing during the nightly deer assault.
- Thick mulch conserves water, prevents erosion, and controls weeds.
- Large boulders and many rocks were salvaged from construction sites.
- Steve is a naturalist extraordinaire; be sure and check out his library of natural history books, which will be on display, and bring your questions for this knowledgeable naturalist!
- Visit Steve's Clive Avenue Native Plant Garden to see photos of "What's Blooming Now?" and access nursery availability and sometimes habitat info.
Gardening for Wildlife: Trees provide nesting areas, rocks with depressions hold water, while berries and seeds and leaves (which are left on the ground) provide food for wildlife. Chickadees, bushtits, nuthatches, warblers, native bees, and butterflies flit about the garden. Slender and arboreal salamanders, ring-necked snakes, alligator lizards, red foxes, moles, skunks, raccoons, and deer have also been seen in this wildlife-friendly garden.
Garden Talks: 11:00 and 2:00 "How to Select Native Plants for Your Garden Setting: Sun, Soil and Aesthetic Considerations for Choosing the Right Plants for Your Garden"