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Melinda Bandler’s garden

San Ramon

Lot size: 1,000 sq. ft. front, 4,000 sq. ft back garden, 90% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in the spring of 2015

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

Showcase Feature
Melinda Bandler’s back garden, designed by the team at Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture, is a delightful combination of texture, form, and color.
Ribbons of purple-blue penstemon line the Wolf Creek flagstone path. A dry stream bed filled with California Gold gravel, lined with Noiya and Sunburst cobblestones, and studded with Umbrian Gold and basalt basin boulders collects water from the roof and patio downspouts, allowing the water to drain naturally into the soil; this keeps the garden green longer and protects the local creek from scouring. Water spilling down the boulder fountain attracts birds and soothes people. Basalt water basins provide water for birds when it’s wet, function as seats when it’s dry, and are climbing stations for children in all weather. Enjoy the panoramic view of the adjacent open space.

Other Garden Attractions bandler-1-of-18-4
• The fire pit, kitchen island, seat wall, and patio borders were lined with Three Rivers stone to blend with the existing pool features.
• Walk next door to see the Kalich garden, and a few houses down to visit the Vandell garden.

Gardening for Wildlife bandler-1-of-18-3
Native birds, bees, and butterflies love to visit this garden in search of water, food, and shade. Take a seat and be on the lookout for hummingbirds, quail, butterflies and other pollinators, and lizards.

Food in the Garden!
Enjoy delectably delicious delights, including pastries, pies, pop tarts, and more, from the Rolling Sloane’s pop-up cart.

Garden Talks
12:00 “There are many benefits of retaining rainwater on-site! How to do it, and why” by Aisha Bouziane

11:00 and 2:00 “Choosing and caring for the right manzanitas, California lilacs, buckwheats, and sages for your garden” by Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds

Plants for Sale
East Bay Wilds will sell native plants, including many varieties of the manzanitas, California lilacs, buckwheats, and sages featured in the talks (see Vandell garden description for the talk schedule).

Seeds for Sale:
Wild Jules Crafted Seed Balls will sell a variety of grass seeds, as well as wildflower seeds for sun (including lupine, clarkia, gilia, and meadowfoam, and part shade (such as Chinese houses and five spot), and also perennial wildflower seeds (including milkweed, monkey flower, buckwheat and yarrow).

Music in the Garden
3:00 Mike Thelen will play acoustic guitar and sing songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, such as Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, the Beatles, and John Denver, among others

Plant list

More photos: