Randal and Azalea Ong’s garden – #15

Castro Valley

Lot size: 2,800 sq. ft. back garden, 70% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in 2012

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

Showcase Feature

When Randal and Azalea bought this house a few years ago the back garden consisted of many overgrown trees and shrubs, lawn, and bougainvillea. The Ong’s wanted a garden that was more aesthetically pleasing and water-conserving, so in came the team at Four Dimensions Landscape Company, and out went the turf—which was replaced with a “lawn” of soft, flowing Point Molate red fescue just big enough for kids to run wild on.  This peaceful, woodsy garden is regarded by the Ongs as a “Tahoe away from Tahoe.”


Other Garden Attractions ong-5

  • The steep, wide set of stairs that leads down to the garden has been softened by drilling planting pockets in the stone and installing sedges and rushes.  (Please watch your step on these stairs; did we say they were steep?)
  • A phalanx of pink flowering currants, coral bells, and wild rose thrive in the shade of the towering pines and redwoods.  In sunnier areas, red Channel Island snapdragon, lavender seaside daisies, purple penstemon, and orange monkeyflowers brighten the garden in spring.
  • A curving flagstone path arcs through the garden.
  • Persistent weeds are managed with…persistent weeding.
  • The garden is watered with Netafim, an efficient and sturdy drip irrigation system.

    Gardening for Wildlife ong-2-7

    The diversity of flowering native plants, and plants of varying heights, attract butterflies, native bees, and birds.

    Plant list

    More photos: