Lot size: 1,500 sq. ft. front, and 3,000 sq. ft. back garden, 95% native
Garden Age: Garden was installed in the fall of 2014
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: New this year!
Liz and Ed wanted to be free of the constant maintenance and cost of having a lawn, and the work and scratched hands that came from tending the roses. What they hoped for was a garden that was distinctive, and contained plants that belonged here; Kat Weiss, of Kat Weiss Landscape Design came through with the design. In the front garden, a cheerful mélange of orange and cream-colored poppies and the lavender flowers of lilac verbena De la Mina flank the path that leads past the cobble-filled dry creek bed and to the front door. Coyote brush, manzanita, and coffeeberry provide greenery throughout the year. Monkeyflowers, California fuchsia, and native penstemon flourish in the raised beds (and delight hummingbirds).
• The delicious sound of water tumbling down the waterfall and flowing through the pondless boulder-strewn creek attracts wildlife of the two-legged as well as the winged variety.
• Liz’ interest in natives was sparked by attending the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, and also by taking a Las Positas College native plant class taught by past Tour host Louann Tung.
• This garden is watered twice a week, for twenty minutes each time. Water will be reduced when the plants are established.
The native plants provide wildlife with berries, seeds, nectar, and pollen. Flickers, meadow larks, tri-colored blackbirds, and Lawrence’s goldfinches have been seen in the garden, as have Cooper’s hawks and kestrals, which keep a sharp eye the avian activity below. Butterflies, dragonflies, native bees, frogs, and fence lizards are frequent visitors. Sphinx moths lay eggs in the garden.