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Nick and Liza Mealy’s garden

Oakland

Lot size: 2500 sq. ft. back garden, 95% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in stages, beginning in 2008

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

Showcase Feature
Nick’s and Liza’s 1920s house was constructed next to the former right-of-way to the Key Route System’s Underhill Station, which was located right behind what is now the Mealys’ home. (Check out the two historic photos of the station at the bottom of this page.) In the early 1900s, neighbors from Trestle Glen would access the Station via the concrete steps located at the rear of the Mealys’ lot (look for the gnome-sized red door). The asphalt, concrete, gravel, and abandoned railway trestles in the back garden were daunting, but Nick and Liza saw potential in the two magnificent oaks, remnants of the venerable oak-bay woodland that had graced this formerly mossy glen. The Mealys’ goal was to establish a natural garden that would once again provide a place for butterflies, bees, and birds to call home. In 2013 landscape designer Michael Hogan of Butterfly, Hummingbird, and Bee provided his expertise.

Other Garden Attractions mealy-15-of-18
• One enters the back garden through a bower of elderberry, golden currant, toyon, and California lilac.
• Four types of ferns (maidenhair, five finger, polypody, and wood), redwood sorrel, and yerba buena can be found in the shady areas.
• In spring myriad wildflowers, including blue and yellow lupine, pink clarkia, purple gilia, and purple-blue Chinese houses brighten the garden.
• Visit Clytia and Joe Curley’s garden, a 10 minute walk down Trestle Glen.

Gardening for Wildlife
This garden attracts anise swallowtail butterflies, native bees, and birds. Milkweed has been planted for the monarchs. A salamander family dwells under a decomposing log.

Garden Talks
12:00 “How to attract bees, birds, and butterflies to your garden”
3:00 “Creating low-or-no water-consuming gardens” both by Michael Hogan

Plant list

More photos: