Gail Schino's Garden

San Leandro

Gardening experience: Native garden was planted in August of 2006

Garden size: 4,500 square foot garden, 70% native

Showcase feature: In the true '60s spirit, this garden fortress was surrounded by a tall fence, and filled with lawn, junipers, camellias, and the inevitable fiberglass patio cover. Gail attended last year's Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, scouting for a landscape designer she could work with. She loved the extraordinary way Four Dimensions Landscape Development’s gardens flowed with nature. After working with designer Michael Thilgen, now her own garden shows its transformation to a beautiful, simple, and natural garden that Gail loves to be in. Ask Gail, who is exquisitely happy with her new landscape, about how she prepared herself to change her garden so dramatically. Don’t miss the "before" photos!

© Michael Thilgen

Other garden attractions:

Gardening for wildlife: Berries and seeds on the native plants, grasses, and shrubs; a log pile that provides cover; trees that beg to be nested in; and a pond and fountain all attract a variety of wildlife. Birds seen in the garden include great blue herons, hawks, vultures, turkeys, woodpeckers, hooded orioles, a variety of colorful finches, and hummingbirds. Frogs, ring-necked snakes, salamanders, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, and crickets also feel at home in this peaceful wildlife oasis.

© Michael Thilgen

Garden Talk: 3:30 "Designing and building a native garden: Turning 'heart’s desires' into reality" by Michael Thilgen of Four Dimensions Landscape Company and Gail Schino

Plant list

More photos