Nancy Warfield and David Gray’s garden – #6

El Cerrito

Lot size: 650 sq. ft. front garden, 60% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in 2012

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 2

Showcase Feature

This former tired lawn, with its 7% slope, was not only uninspiring; it also funneled rainwater back toward the house. In addition to wanting their drainage problem solved, Nancy and David requested a low-maintenance garden that looked tidy, as well as gopher and deer-resistant plants. Lois Simonds, owner of Gardening by Nature’s Design, who designed and installed the new garden, was up to the challenge. Now, a raised bed of moss rock boulders redirects rainwater away from the house, and into a small wetland; the raised bed also provides the native plants with the drainage they need. The adjacent dry creek bed, filled with Mexican pebbles, adds additional structure while moderating the slope and flow of water into the wetlands area. In spring a potpourri of native wildflowers— baby blue eyes, farewell to spring, poppies, and Chinese houses—brighten the garden.

Other Garden Attractions warfield-two-3

• Don’t miss David’s photo essay of the garden’s installation—especially the pictures of the crane bringing in the large boulders, which were hand-selected from a quarry near Mt. Lassen.

• Sages were planted to discourage browsing by deer.

• The designer, Lois Simonds, will be at this garden all day to answer questions.

  • Call your lunch order in to the Well Grounded Tea and Coffee Bar at (510) 528-4709, at 6925 Stockton Ave, inEl Cerrito.  (You can see their menu on-line at Well-Grounded.com.) They’ll have your sandwiches ready to pick up when you want them.  While there, taka a moment to browse next door at Jenny K’s for gifts, seeds, toys, jewelry, and more.  Mention the Tour and both businesses will donate 20% of your purchases to support this event.


Gardening for Wildlife warfield-317

The garden attracts native bees and butterflies.


Garden Talks

11:00 “Coming to terms with clay soil and drainage issues in the garden: Redirecting the flow of water and incorporating wetlands and dry creek beds as landscape features”


2:00 “How to build a dry-stacked stone wall” by Lois Simonds

Plant list

More photos: