Natalie Forrest and Douglas Sprague’s garden – #18


Lot size: 6,000 sq. ft. back garden on tour, 100% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in the winter of 2007

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour:

Showcase Feature

Prior to its transformation the upper two-thirds of this spacious back garden was weeds and juniper, and a place Natalie and Doug never went. Inspired by the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, they looked for a designer who would create a native water-conserving garden that provided habitat for wildlife and found Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds, who designed and installed the garden. This garden, which has a country feel that perfectly matches the rural neighborhood, is not for those who like the manicured look. Large swaths of annual wildflowers put on a beautiful show from mid-winter through fall. In spring, a cheerful sea of poppies fills the slope. They are followed, in late spring and early summer, by drifts of pink clarkias, white Matilija poppies, yellow meadowfoam, creamy yarrow, and purple seaside daisies.

Other Garden Attractions 4665389625_dd9e54502a_o

  • Buckeye, oaks, maple and elderberry will provide height when mature; coffeeberry, California lilac, and manzanita provide structure  and greenery throughout the year.
  • In the summer of 2010 the garden will receive only occasional water.

Gardening for Wildlife 4666010416_19a7ce2542_z

Native bees snuggle contentedly in the native cobweb thistle (see this photo, right!). Butterflies also delight in the many, large patches of flowering natives, as do a variety of birds.

Garden Talks: All talks will be given by Pete Veilleux. 10:30 “How to grow Pacific madrones” 11:30 “Choosing and caring for the right California lilac for your garden” 12:30 “Choosing and caring for the right manzanitas for your garden” 1:30 “Choosing and caring for the right sages for your garden”

Plants Available East Bay Wilds will sell native plants: many varieties of the plants featured in the talks—manzanitas, California lilacs, and sages—will be available for viewing and purchase.

Natalie Forrest and Douglas Sprague’s plant list

More photos: