Lot size: 15,000 sq. ft. back garden, 90% native
Garden Age: Garden was installed in 2006
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: New this year!
Inspired by the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, Bill and Linda went looking for a designer who could bring new life to their rosemary-engulfed, steep (20 to 30 degree!) hillside. Rick Alatorre of Alatorre Garden Design designed dry-stacked moss-rock lined paths that wend up and across the previously impenetrable hillside, and removed mountains of rosemary. In its place he planted a hardy selection of natives; as proof, they have survived the armies of gophers and browsing by deer that live in the adjacent open space. Coffeeberry, prostrate coyote brush, two types of California lilac, and four kinds of manzanita provide year-round greenery in this peaceful garden. Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to walk up the steep hill; the path is narrow, and uneven in places.
• Don’t miss the “before” photos!
Bees love the buckwheats—California, red, and sulphur— and phacelia; butterflies are attracted to the three kinds of buckwheat (occasionally painted lady butterflies migrate through the garden), hummingbirds to the native fuchsia, and birds to the pink flowering currant. Quail families stroll about the garden, calling to each other companionably as they enjoy seeds, insects, and berries. Barn owls nest in the barn owl box on the roof. A second barn owl box, located on a pole near the driveway, waits hopefully for inhabitants. (And the Dicks wait hopefully for additional owls, which they expect will help reduce the gopher population.) Lizards dart in and out of the stone walls.