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Barbara and Phil Leitner’s garden – #28

Orinda

Lot size: 4,000 sq. ft. front garden on tour, 100% native

Garden Age: Garden was planted in stages, beginning in the fall of 2006.

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 5

Showcase Feature

This attractive, tranquil garden, designed by David Bigham and installed by Barbara, features a sunny meadow with low-growing grasses, sedges, and wildflowers surrounded by taller borders of grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs. All plants in this garden are native to the San Pablo Creek watershed; most were grown from seed or cuttings originating locally. A phalanx of soaproot lines the walkway, their delicate, orchid-like evening flower displays attracting and delighting hordes of moths and bumblebees.

Other Garden Attractions holt_978_0133.CR2

  • Water bill has been dramatically reduced since removing the lawn and replacing it with natives.
  • Try the grape jelly, made by Barbara from the California grapes that grow over the arbor on the front patio.

Gardening for Wildlife holt_978_0134.CR2

In addition to happy bumblebees, and monarch butterflies that lay eggs on the milkweed, this garden is home to ringneck, gopher, and garter snakes; slender and arboreal salamanders; fence and alligator lizards; and skinks. Since the garden was transformed there has been a great increase in the number of and variety of birds—western bluebirds, Nuttall’s woodpeckers, ruby crowned kinglets, Swainson’s thrushes, house finches, five kinds of sparrows, California quail, chickadees, oak titmice, and downy woodpeckers are now seen in the garden. Quail nest under the large grasses, and lesser goldfinches raise their young in the trees.

Garden Talks

11:00 and 2:00 “How and why to obtain local native plants for your garden” by Barbara Leitner.

Music in the Garden

10:00-11:00 Renaissance music will be performed by Ron Cohen and past Garden Tour hosts Mardi and Jeff Mertens, on recorder, cornet, and sackbut. Vocals will be provided by special guest Susan Swerdlow.

Plant list

Leitner Garden Information, 2015

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