Jeff and Kathleen Johnson’s garden – #27


Lot size: 1,460 sq. ft. back garden, 65% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in the fall of 2015

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

Showcase Feature
The kids were grown, the pool and small patches of lawn had outlived their usefulness, and Jeff and Kathleen were ready for a change. Specifically, they wanted an attractive garden that was low in water use, contained native plants, and was convivial to the natural world. Roxy Wolosenko, of Roxy Designs, suggested that the pool be transformed into an underground cistern that would capture water from the roof’s downspouts—and this innovative project was born. Today the former pool, which has been covered by an oyster-shell lined bocce court, water-conserving plants, and garden paths, holds 7,500 gallons of water—enough to water the garden throughout the summer. Brown decomposed granite paths wend through garden beds planted with manzanita, California lilac, sages, and penstemon. The arching wheat-colored flowers on Mendocino reed grass provide an open, natural feel to the garden.

Other Garden Attractions johnson-kethleen-and-jeff-1-of-8-6
• Water use has dropped about 60% since the pool was removed.
• Wine-barrel chairs invite you to sit down; settle into one of these comfortable seats and enjoy the garden. You won’t want to leave!
• Stainless steel stock tanks contain herb and veggie beds.
• Designer Roxy Wolosenko will be at this garden from 10:00-1:00.

Gardening for Wildlife johnson-kethleen-and-jeff-1-of-8-2
The sound of water trickling down the boulder fountain attracts wildlife, and soothes people.

Garden Talks
11:00 “Catch it, save it, spread it: how to convert your swimming pool into a rainwater storage tank” by Roxy Wolosenko and Jeff and Kathleen Johnson

Plant list

More photos: