Sam Brewer’s garden – #14

Castro Valley

Lot size: 2500 sq. ft. front and 1,125 sq. ft side gardens, 90% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in stages, beginning in 2014

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

Showcase Feature
Sam, a native Californian, liked the aesthetic of California native plants; in order to get the garden he wanted he attended the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, took copious notes on the plants he saw, and found Christine Wiseman of GardenWise Landscapes, who designed the garden. Sam’s father—the Dad we all wish we had!— worked with Sam to dig out the Bermuda grass, and together they diligently, patiently, and persistently weeded until it was under control. Together son and father contoured the front and side garden slopes, laid the irrigation lines, installed the plants, and now maintain this wildlife-friendly, water-conserving garden.

Other Garden Attractions brewer-1-of-9
• Swaths of buckwheats unify the garden, delighting the bees with their dense clusters of pink and cream-colored flowers.
• In spring the flowers of the dramatic St. Catherine’s lace (which bears dinner-plate sized flower heads so intricate that they have been compared to lace doilies—thus the name) change from a pale green to cream, and finally to a pale pink.
• Four types of manzanita (Howard McMinn, Refugio, Dr. Hurd, and Pacific Mist), three kinds of California lilac (Ray Hartman, Dark Star, and Concha), and two varieties of coffeeberry (Eve Case and San Bruno Mound) provide structure and greenery throughout the year.
• Trellissed virgin’s bower softens the line of the garage, and brightens the garden with its numerous white flowers.

Gardening for Wildlife brewer-3-of-9
Native bees, butterflies, and birds adore the buckwheats, hummingbirds are drawn to the monkeyflowers, and lizards sun themselves on the boulders.

Plant List

More photos: