Melinda and Steve Ballard’s garden – #20


Lot size: 5,375 sq. ft. back garden; 70% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in early 2010

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 3

Showcase Feature

The struggle to maintain a large lawn and thirsty flower garden in Pleasanton’s hot summers led Melinda and Steve to the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour. The Ballards worked collaboratively with the team from Four Dimensions Landscape Company to design their garden; Four Dimensions installed much of this tranquil haven. Two water features, one a basalt fountain near the seating area on the deck, and the other an in-ground fish pond, invite visitors to rest awhile. The garden continues to evolve as plants are moved and added. “It’s a work in progress, and a labor of love” remarks Melinda. The Ballards appreciate the water savings, but the biggest joy now are the sights and sounds of bees, birds, and all the other wildlife that sojourn in this little suburban haven..

ballard5 Other Garden Attractions

  • Native grape will grow over the expansive trellis, creating a living roof and providing much needed shade in the summer.
  • Reduced lawn has lowered the water bill.
  • Bluestone pathway wends through the garden.

ballard9 Gardening for Wildlife

The sound of water splashing into the pond is attractive to birds, and soothing to people. A trickling basalt column fountain and shallow bowl of water brings flocks of finches to bathe in the garden. These water features, and several birdbaths and feeders, in addition to a diversity of native plants, have resulted in “an incredible number of birds” now calling the garden home.

Plant list

More photos: