Jennifer Becker and Dean Mayer’s garden – #28


Lot size: 8,000 sq. ft. back garden, 70% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in 2009

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

Showcase Feature

This sloping, terraced, and very large rear garden, which was renovated by Four Dimensions Landscape Company, contains something for everybody: redwoods,  oaks, lawns for kids to run on, a productive vegetable garden, and a variety of drought tolerant native and Mediterranean plants that provide habitat for wildlife. Extensive but subtle grading, retaining walls, and garden steps make access comfortable. Saunter on the winding mulched paths past the grazing goat (not real!) and alert grasshopper, to the tranquil seating area at the top of the garden.  While there, perhaps when you are relaxing in the Adirondack chairs, enjoy the expansive views to the nearby open space, examine the small Carex meadow, and consider it as a possible lawn substitute in your own garden.

Other Garden Attractions becker-9

  • This extensive garden is weeded by hand; no herbicides are used here!  If this expansive lot can be maintained organically, yours can, too!
  • Drop down in one of the numerous seating areas (if it’s hot, rest under the redwoods), and enjoy this serene garden.
  • Michael Thilgen of Four Dimensions Landscape Company will be at the Mayer/Becker garden from 10:00-1:30 to answer questions.


Gardening for Wildlife becker-10

Bees are attracted to the California lilac and sages. Hummingbirds adore the fuchsia.


Garden Talks

11:00 “Choosing the best native plants for a Contra Costa garden—Hot in July! Cold in December! Clay soils! Slow drainage! What about deer? Which natives grow in our inland valleys? Come and find out the answers to these questions, and more!” by Michael Thilgen of Four Dimensions Landscape Company


Music in the Garden

2:00 – 3:00 Michael Thelen will play guitar and sing songs from the 60’s and 70’s, such as the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, and John Denver.

Plant list

More photos: