Dale Wolford’s garden – #15

Castro Valley

Lot size: 2,500 sq. ft. front and 250 sq. ft. side garden, 95% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in March of 2016

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: New this year!

Showcase Feature

Dale, a long-time Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour participant, was ready for the lawn and junipers to be replaced by a garden that would conserve water, be colorful, attract bees and butterflies—and have a more formal look than one often sees with native plant gardens.  Dale began the transformation by attending the Tour’s “How to sheetmulch your lawn away (and get paid for it, too)!” workshop, then came home and covered his lawn with cardboard and wood chips. A rebate from the East Bay Municipal Utility District, native plant garden design by Alrie Middlebrook, and installation from Middlebrook Gardens completed the job. In summer, heady drifts of red fuchsia, purple lilac verbena ‘De la Mina’, aromatic purple-blue Cleveland sage and coyote mint, and pink rosy buckwheats both complement each other and delight the pollinators.


Other Garden Attractions wolford-1-of-7-4_0

  • Raised planting areas provide the drainage most natives need, and retain rainwater on-site.
  • The dry creek bed and a variety of boulders provide visual interest.
  • A restroom is available!  If you would like to powder your nose, this is the stop for you.


Gardening for Wildlife wolford-1-of-7-5_0

Hummingbirds are attracted to the fuchsia and sages; butterflies flutter about the lilac verbena; bees are happy everywhere in this garden.


Garden Talks

Alrie Middlebrook will be available all day to discuss how she and her staff worked with Dale to design the garden, review the challenges they encountered, and describe the merits of the plants that were installed. Bring photos of your own garden to obtain design advice and plant recommendations.

Plant list

More photos: