Kathy and David Welch's Garden
Gardening experience: 39 years
Years gardening at this location: 7 years
Garden size: 22,000 square-foot
Showcase feature: This extensive garden, located in a former majestic oak woodland, was designed by Kathy, Michael Thilgen of Four Dimensions Landscape Development, and Warren Simmonds Associates. The sequence of intimate spaces on this large lot with its steep slope invites one down to the lower parts of the garden. Ascend to the balcony to see the dragonfly fountain and to enjoy the spectacular view.
Other garden attractions:
- Approximately 50% of the garden is planted with natives local to the Sausal Creek watershed.
- California native grape shades the arbor.
- The oak understory is watered infrequently.
- Collector's plants and a small vegetable and herb garden are close to the house. Further into the garden, one reaches the oak grove with its understory of natives.
- The garden was featured in Bay Nature Magazine, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Garden Design Magazine, and EBMUD's Plants and Landscapes for Summer Dry Climates. It was also awarded "Best Informal Garden of the Year" by the city of Piedmont.
- Photographed for the recently published Stonescaping: The Idea Book.
Gardening for Wildlife: The native plants, ponds, and the sound of falling water attract a lot of wildlife to this garden. Dragonflies and buckeye butterflies are among the visitors that enjoy the delicious sound of splashing water. Nuthatches and chicadees are frequent visitors. "Aphids attract bushtits," says Kathy. "It's worth growing plants that attract aphids, just to see the birds."
Garden Talks: 11:00 "Sudden Oak Death: What It Is, and How to Prevent It" by Janice Alexander of the California Oak Mortality Task Force; 2:00 “Replacing the Lawn — Choosing Beautiful Native Alternatives to the Traditional Lawn" by Michael Thilgen of Four Dimensions Landscape Company.