Laurel Eber's garden
Garden Lot size: half acre total; 425-square-foot front garden on tour only
Years gardened at this location (Gardening Experience): Native garden was installed in the fall of 2004.
Showcase feature: This low-maintenance garden, designed and installed by Rick Alatorre of Alatorre Garden Design, is small in size but big in diversity, with its more than thirty-two species of natives creating a habitat that buzzes and hums with birds, butterflies, native bees, hover flies, and other beneficial insects. From early summer through late fall, the garden glows with buckwheat, California fuschia, and goldenrod, while remaining redolent with salvia and coyote mint.
Other garden attractions:
- Weeds are controlled with newspaper and mulch.
- Permeable paths allow water to soak into the ground.
- Gracefully curving raised beds made from recycled cement (found on Craig's List) and a variety of chimney flue planter boxes create visual interest.
- This garden provides color throughout the year.
- Handmade pottery and a sunflower sculpture make from recycled materials grace the garden. A solar fountain is in the planning stage.
Gardening for Wildlife: Butterflies, hummingbirds, native bees and honeybees are attracted to the variety of natives, the plants of varying heights, and diversity of flowers. Upon close observation, myriads of insects hover above and dart through the native buckwheats. Titmice can be heard munching away beneath the close plantings while other birds forage on the abundant seeds that have are allowed to ripen, moving seedlings where they will.