Martha and Greg Alexander’s garden
Lot size: 2,500 sq. ft. front garden on tour 99% native
Garden Age: Native garden was installed in the fall of 2007
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 2
Showcase feature: Inspired by Martha’s mother’s beautiful native garden, and wanting an environmentally friendly front garden as well as a child friendly one, Martha and Greg decided to go native themselves. So out went the lawn, the 1970s rock borders, and the sprinklers, and in went a native meadow, rock outcroppings and drip irrigation. The sedge meadow and moss rock outcroppings create a quiet beauty. The wide variety of native plants provide color and year-round interest, and will attract a diversity of wildlife when mature. The meandering path leads to a bench, inviting visitors to linger in this peaceful garden, which was designed and installed by Rick Alatorre of Alatorre Garden Design.
Other garden attractions:
- The sedge meadow is irrigated with Netafim Techline CV, a self-flushing subsurface system that maximizes water efficiency by watering at the plants’ root levels. Fliers on this product will be available.
- Thickly laid mulch suppresses weeds and helps retain water.
- An arbor, made by the homeowners from a recycled play structure, frames a Three Rivers flagstone path.
Gardening for Wildlife: The garden attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and native bees. And more creatures are sure to be on the way, given the variety of the plant selections: three different irises, buckwheats, and California fuchsia, to name a few.
Garden Talks: The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) will distribute water-wise gardening brochures and other information. Note it is highly likely that the District will have mandatory water rationing this year. The District, a proud sponsor of the Tour, encourages native and drought tolerant gardening as a means of conserving water.