Lot size: 1,500 sq. ft. back garden, 95% native
Garden Age: Garden was installed in the spring of 2016
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: New this year!
Joanne and Scott’s back garden was “a disaster”; crowded with privets, a poorly placed crabapple, and a lot of oxalis. Happily, they found Michael Thilgen and the team at Four Dimensions Landscape Company, and life changed. The garden was sheetmulched (covered with cardboard and wood chips) to control weeds. Then, two of Joanne and Scott’s dreams were realized. The first dream to be manifested was the installation of an outdoor clawfoot tub, complete with hot and cold water. The tub is semi-enclosed in a three-sided structure made of wood reclaimed from a barn; a farmhouse window adds to the ambience. The seating area opposite the tub allows Joanne and Scott to chat companionably while one splashes and the other relaxes. The next dream was “putting the oaks back in Oakland.” Joanne and Scott wanted their property to provide habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies—thus, their garden is planted with mostly local native plants, which are the best at providing food, shelter, and nesting areas for wildlife. (Check out the historic photograph and drawing in the pictures below that show the former oaks of Oakland.)
Other Garden Attractions
• Three newly planted oak trees preside over a delightful array of local natives, including aster, checkerbloom, rushes, buckwheats, and goldenrod. These plants can be enjoyed from the balcony, above the garden, or from the spacious deck near the back of the lot.
• In summer, purple-blue penstemon, orange poppies, creamy milkweed and buckwheats, purple coyote mint, and red fuchsia brighten the garden.