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Mary Cooper’s garden – garden #16

Castro Valley

Lot size: 1,100 sq. ft. front garden only on tour, 99% native

Garden Age: Native garden was installed in January, 2007.

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 4

Showcase Feature

Mary, who wanted to get rid of that ‘50s landscape look, and who was inspired to plant natives by the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, hired Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds to design and install something that had “a dry streambed effect.” Out went the junipers, and in went an artistic and fun front garden containing undulating and meandering berms that provide drainage, Sonoma basalt boulders, mixed yellow and blue decomposed granite, driftwood, and a variety of attractive drought-resistant native plants selected to provide color throughout the year.


Other Garden Attractions cooper-4

  • Don’t miss the low-tech, inexpensive gravity-fed water feature (check out the one-gallon bottle tucked behind the California lilac).
  • Currants and a redbud soften the lines of the house.

Gardening for Wildlife cooper-11

The native plants, water feature, and bird feeder attract white-crowned sparrows, house finches, and scrub jays. Recently a bluebird (not a jay—the bluebird is a cavity-nesting bird that is declining in population) was seen bathing in the fountain. A mud puddle, which provides moisture, nutrients, and minerals for butterflies, has been added to the garden.

Garden talks
11:00 and 2:00 “”How to make a gravity-fed drip fountain” by Mary Cooper

Plant list

More photos: