Kay Countryman and Ron Briggs’s garden – #25


Lot size: 2,200 sq. ft. back garden, 75% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in 2015

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

Showcase Feature
Inspired by the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, Kay and Ron stopped watering their large lawn and asked Roxy Wolosenko of Roxy Designs to design and install a water-conserving, low-maintenance garden that attracts wildlife. In spring the back garden is a colorful mosaic of purple penstemon, sages, and lilac verbena, lavender seaside daisy, and yellow sulphur buckwheat. “This peaceful garden,” reports Kay, “has changed our lives. We’re out in the back garden all the time now, watching the birds and enjoying the plants—it’s a real antidote to stress!”

Other Garden Attractions countryman-1-of-13-7
• The house was built on the site of a former orchard; two venerable pear trees can be seen in the back garden.
• The East Bay Municipal Utility District provided a $2,500 lawn removal rebate, which helped pay for the new garden.
• Water use has dropped by 66% since the front and back lawns were removed.
• The swale in the front garden catches and stores rainwater, allowing it to recharge the groundwater table, and keeping the garden green longer.

Gardening for Wildlife countryman-1-of-13-1
The trickling fountain, two bird baths, feeders, and a back garden of primarily native plants have attracted more than twenty species of birds. In early spring quail parents and their ping-pong sized chicks wander about the garden searching for seeds, leaves, berries, and snails. Kay and Ron’s cats are kept indoors, both to keep the cats safe and to protect the birds.

Garden Talks
1:00 “Practical tips for installing drip irrigation in native plant gardens: Curious about how you can conserve water in your own garden? Bring your questions!” by Roxy Wolosenko

Plant list

More photos: