Mary Ford and Rob Lewis – #8


Lot size: 1/3 acre

Garden Age: Garden was installed in stages, beginning in 2000

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 5

Showcase feature

Seventeen oaks and three large groups of boulders provide the framework for this lovely hillside garden, which was designed and installed by Rosemary Zappulla of Wild Rose Gardens Sustainable Landscaping and the owners. A former tangle of blackberry, broom, ivy, and juniper, the garden was redesigned to attract birds, conserve water, and take a minimum of time to maintain. A long flight of stairs leads up to an expansive deck, designed to accommodate several huge oak trees, which grow through it. ford7

Other garden attractions

    • A diversity of native plants stabilize these slopes.
    • A plethora of Douglas iris bloom in the spring.
    • Look for the oaks and toyon growing from cracks in the boulders.
    • Seven foot long lying Buddha rests among plants from the oak woodland plant community. All of the plants in this area of the garden come from the local gene pool: Kensington, Pt. Molate, Oakland, and Berkeley.
    • Enjoy the splendid view of Mount Tamalpais from the upper deck.

ford5 Gardening for Wildlife

Shade-loving native shrubs attract wildlife. Birds seen in the garden include chickadees, titmice, bushtits, juncos, brown towhees, Allen’s hummingbirds, downy woodpeckers, stellar and scrub jays, mourning doves, nuthatches, and Townsend or other western warblers. After rains, flocks of cedar waxwings stop by to visit. Deer, raccoon, skunk, opossum, and salamanders also call this garden home.

Mary Ford and Rob Lewis’ plant list

More photos: