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Rita Hurault’s garden

Oakland

Lot size: 1,125 sq. ft. front garden, 85% native

Garden Age: Native garden was installed in 2010

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

Showcase Feature When Rita bought this 1906 Craftsman the garden she inherited had a rectangular lawn and a tall hedge that created a dark and foreboding feel.  Over the years Rita, who wanted a natural look, had reduced the size of the lawn, but it wasn’t until Liz Simpson, of Liz Simpson Garden Design, was brought in that wholesale changes were made.  The lawn was replaced by a ‘Point Molate’ red fescue bunchgrass meadow, which now wraps gracefully around wide, curving garden beds. The hedge was removed and three California lilac put in its place, and a potpourri of natives that would flourish in the shade of the redwood, maple, and birch trees, such as coral bells, iris, and currants, have been happily installed. Other Garden Attractions hurault-3

  • Bricks that had filled the parking strip were removed and replaced with flagstone and gravel, and the strip was planted with sea thrift, bunchgrasses, and thyme, allowing rainwater to percolate into the water table.
  • Rita, an artist, gave her garden furniture a buoyant painting, and has scattered whimsical pieces of art about.

Gardening for Wildlife hurault-6 Butterflies, native bees, and hummingbirds are regular visitors to the garden.  Chickadees, titmice, finches, cedar waxwings, orioles and woodpeckers flit through the trees.  Hawks watch the action from overhead. Salamanders tuck themselves into damp, cool spots. Garden Talks 12:00 and 3:00 “How to make the transition from a lawn and roses to a native plant garden” by Rita Hurault Plant list

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