Lot size: 700 sq. ft. front garden, 80% native
Garden Age: Garden was installed in the fall of 2006
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 3
Showcase Feature Once wall-to-wall lawn, this gently sloping corner lot garden now boasts wide, curving garden beds planted with a pleasing array of colorful natives which surround a native meadow. Liz Simpson, who designed the garden (it was installed by Liz and the homeowners) used her artistic training in what she refers to as “a creative collaboration with the plants.” Blue and purple baby blue eyes and sages are interspersed with the warmer reds, yellows, and oranges of fuchsia and monkeyflowers to create a riot of color that lasts most of the year. In order to bring in the “scent of California” coyote mint and sages were incorporated into this garden, which is much admired by the neighbors. Other Garden Attractions
- The garden was sheet mulched (covered with overlapping sheets of cardboard and wood chips) to smother weeds.
- Bamboo sculptures support tomatoes and cucumbers; part of the former driveway has become an edible garden bed.
Gardening for Wildlife The garden borders are planted with a diversity of bright flowers, which attract bees and butterflies. Skinks breed in the sage; salamanders and Pacific chorus frogs reside happily here. Hummingbirds are attracted to the fuchsia and monkeyflowers. To leave seeds for the birds, minimal deadheading is done. The gum plant attracts a variety of beneficial insects. The pond is a water source for wildlife—and a breeding place for damselflies, whose larvae climb up on the obelisk in the pond to emerge from their shells as winged creatures. Plant list