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Peggy Olofson’s garden

Oakland

Lot size: 2,150 sq. ft. back garden, 95% native, 100 sq. ft. front garden, 80% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in stages, beginning in 2005

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

Showcase Feature
Peggy had a vision for this garden, and that vision did not include the existing flat lawn, or the large brick patio that took up space under the redwood tree. Hauling in truckloads of soil to create an interesting topography, and the creation of wide garden beds that wrap around the garden was the first phase. Next, the thirsty lawn was sheet mulched away, and replaced by a grassy knoll of attractive, water-conserving Native Mow Free turf from the Delta Bluegrass Company. The addition of a waterfall and stream, with its splashing cascade and water-loving leopard lilies, streamside orchids, and yerba mansa, attracts birds and soothes people. Ferns, coral bells, thimbleberry, and Douglas iris flourish in the shade of the large redwood tree. Lauren Bennett, of Bay Wise Gardens, has selected the plants and carefully tended this garden for the last three years.

Other Garden Attractions olofson-1-of-7-4
• A swale under the redwood tree collects rainwater and allows it to percolate into the soil, thus providing the redwood with a source of water deep underground, and recharging groundwater reserves, while lessening the erosive impact on the local creek.
• Many of the established plants are not watered at all.
• The bricks in the path that wends around the garden were patio pavers in a former life.
• Designer Lauren Bennett will be at this garden all day to answer questions.

Gardening for Wildlife olofson-1-of-7-6
The diversity of plants, their varying heights, branch piles, and a waterfall and stream attract songbirds, native bees, butterflies, and lady bugs.

Garden Talks
11:00 and 1:00 “Medicinal uses of commonly grown California native plants” by Lauren Bennett

Plant list

More photos: