Leslie Zander’s garden


Lot size: 650 sq. ft. front garden, 95% native, 800 sq. ft. back garden, 65% native

Garden Age: Front garden was installed in 2005; the back garden was installed in stages, beginning in 2006

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 6

Showcase Feature

Leslie’s small, sunny front garden is a mixture of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees that create a delightfully changing landscape throughout the year. In spring the garden is awash in color, from the abundant white blooms of the California buckeye to the exuberant mosaic of yellow, blue, and orange in the annual wildflower understory. In winter, the elegant structure and silvery bare branches of the buckeye are the garden’s works of art. In the back garden native shade-tolerant vegetation has been placed along the south fence and a combination of fruit trees and California native grassland species flourish in the open, sun-drenched areas. This garden is an inspiration for converting a small yard into an interesting, low-maintenance wildlife habitat.


Other Garden Attractions holt_1053_061.CR2

  • During WWII this home was one of twenty million Victory Gardens. Leslie is renewing the tradition of growing vegetables at home; note the raised planter beds running up the center of the driveway.
  • Don’t miss the “before” photos!




Gardening for Wildlife holt_1053_060.CR2

The diversity of plant heights, from trees to shrubs to low-growing groundcovers, provides shelter for wildlife. Native plants provide berries, seeds, and nectar for goldfinches, white crowned sparrows, doves, orioles, and hummingbirds. The avian action attracts Cooper’s hawks. Bumblebees, honeybees, and buckeye and painted lady butterflies are frequent visitors.

Leslie Zander’s Annotated Plant List

Before and After photos

More photos: