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Liz Bittner’s garden

Richmond

Lot size: 550 sq. ft. front garden, 200 sq. ft. parking strip, 70% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in stages, beginning in 2009

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

Showcase Feature
When they moved in, the front garden in Liz’ new home consisted of a weedy lawn and tall boxwoods. Liz, who works as a gardener in the Tilden Regional Park Botanic Garden (a ten-acre native plant botanic garden in Wildcat Canyon; have you been there?), knew immediately that it was time for a change. After digging out the weeds and sheet mulching the lawn she designed and installed a mostly native, drought tolerant garden that had good views from outside the house as well as inside (the California lilac hedge just outside the front window is delightful in spring). Partial to grey foliage, Liz included Canyon Prince wild rye and coast and saffron buckwheats in her plant palette.

Other Garden Attractions 6
• The large Lester Rowntree manzanita in the parking strip creates a privacy screen between the house and street.
• A petite apple tree and new plants receive water once a month in the summer; the rest of the garden is not watered at all.

Gardening for Wildlife 3
Western bluebirds visit the garden to search for insects. Hummingbirds sip nectar from the Island snapdragon. Finches snack on the deergrass and wild rye seeds. Native bees gather pollen and sip nectar from the Douglas iris, poppies, and three types of both California lilac and buckwheat. Butterflies are attracted to the blossoms of the tough and long-lived gum plant. Swallowtail and monarch butterflies pass through the garden, nectaring as they go.

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