Erik and Shellie Jacobson’s garden – #24

Walnut Creek

Lot size: 3,300 sq. ft. front garden, 90% native, 1,700 sq. ft. side and back gardens, 60% native back gardens

Garden Age: Garden was installed in the fall of 2010

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 2

Showcase Feature

Inspired by the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, and tired of grass and all that it entailed, Erik and Shellie hired Kelly Marshall of Kelly Marshall Garden Design to transform their garden.  The Jacobsons hike frequently, and wanted their garden to contain plants they were familiar with.  They were also looking for a garden that would fit in with the tidy appearance of their neighborhood. In the front garden, grasses and rushes blend beautifully with rosy buckwheats. Shade-loving plants clearly love it in the cool and inviting side garden. Focal points in the back garden are a berm bordered with river rock, planted with grasses, and containing a burbling rock fountain.

Other Garden Attractions jacobsen-kelly-161

  • Redbud, manzanitas, madrones, coffeeberries, and California lilac provide structure and greenery throughout the year.
  • The scent of white and Cleveland sages wafts though the garden after spring rains.
  • • Water use has dropped by more than 500 gallons a day now that the lawn has been replaced with a native plant garden.
  • Don’t miss the “before” photos!

Gardening for Wildlife jacobsen-kelly-159

Many different native bees are now permanent residents of the garden, along with lots of lizards. Cooper’s hawks, Nuttall’s woodpeckers, oak titmice, and kinglets have been seen in, or above, the garden. Birds are attracted to the columnar stone fountain in the back garden; when the water isn’t turned on they perch glumly nearby, waiting for the switch to be thrown.

Garden Talks

11:00 and 2:00 “When the front lawn has got to go:  How to get rid of it, and what to do with all that space when it’s gone” by Kelly Marshall

12:00 “Save money, save time, and save water: How to lose your lawn, get a garden, and get paid for it, too!” by Bob Eagle, from the Contra Costa Water District

Front, back and side garden plant lists

More photos: