Lot size: ¼ acre lot, 70% native in front, 50% in back
Garden Age: Back garden was installed in stages, beginning in 2005. Front garden was installed in the fall of 2007.
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 4
Showcase Feature: In 2007, Kelly, owner of Kelly Marshall Garden Design, and her husband, Mike, wanted to transform their boring front lawn into a native plant haven for wildlife. The challenge was to come up with something that still fit in with the neighborhood. Kelly selected a hardy and colorful array of natives that could take Clayton’s hot summers, added a fountain and strategically placed seating areas and paths, and the front garden became a lovely place enjoyed by everyone in the family, and even the neighbors. Wanting more planting ‘real estate’ and disliking the water-hogging back lawn more and more, Kelly recently convinced Mike to finally let the lawn go—in its place she created a drought-tolerant meadow of bunchgrasses and flowering native perennials. .
- Don’t miss the living/green roof of the backyard play structure, planted with native perennials, wildflowers, and succulents.
- In the back garden water cascades down the slope and into the pond—which the children love to walk across. (Really—you’ll see!)
- Snacks and bottled water will be available for purchase.
The sound of splashing water, ample pond, and the diversity of seed-, berry-, and pollen-bearing plants attract a variety of wildlife. A bevy of quail forage happily in the back garden, keeping wary eyes out for the owls overhead, and the fox that occasionally drops by. Downy woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice, and chickadees frequent the garden. Bats swoop overhead in the evening, gnoshing on mosquitoes. To keep the birds safe, the family cat is kept indoors.
4:00 “How to transform your front garden into a place that is beautiful, water-conserving, and acceptable to the neighbors” by Kelly Marshall