Jeff and Jacquie Kixmiller’s Garden
Gardening experience: 4 years
Years gardened at this location: Garden planted July, 2003
Size: 11,000 square feet
Showcase feature: Oak woodland, grassland meadow, and chaparral plants provide a sense of place in this lovely garden. A construction site with compacted soil just two years ago, the garden was designed and installed by Alrie Middlebrook of Middlebrook Gardens to meet the owner’s desires for a low water-consuming, low maintenance, pesticide-free garden. Original art was inspired by the natural plant community; graceful hand-sculpted coast live oak gates provide a view of the vineyard across the street. Oaks and acorns appear as art detail on gates, fences and water elements in the flagstone wall at the pool’s edge.
Other garden attractions:
- Bunchgrass swale parking strip collects stormwater.
- Thyme-planted driveway strip allows water to percolate into the soil.
- Attractive leaf-stamped flagstone is incorporated into the walkway.
- Antique gates mounted on garage wall function as trellises.
- This garden is featured in the soon-to-be-published Designing California Native Gardens: The Plant Community Approach to Artful, Ecological Gardens, by Glenn Keator and Alrie Middlebrook.
Gardening for Wildlife: Natives such as monkeyflower, penstemon, California grape and toyon, oak trees, and a wildflower meadow with native bunchgrasses provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and bees. Birds are so comfortable here that in spring they nested on the porch.Garden Talk: The designer, Alrie Middlebrook, will be available from 10:00 – 12:00 to discuss how she worked with the owners to design the garden, review the problems they encountered, and describe the merits of the plants that were installed. Bring photos of your own gardens to obtain design advice and plant recommendations!