Gail Giffen's garden
Garden Lot size: 1 acre, 30% native
Years gardened at this location (Gardening Experience): 17 years at this location
Years on the "Bringing Back the Natives" Garden Tour: 2 years
Showcase feature: Designed and built by Michael Thilgen and the team at Four Dimensions Landscape Company, in collaboration with building architect Reed Robbins, Gail’s garden began as a barren piece of land. Today, this expansive garden abounds with secret spaces, hosts well known artist's work, and is home to a flock of chickens that function as living art, wandering freely throughout the site. Gail’s garden demonstrates how architecture and nature can work in harmony together. Near the house, Mediterranean plants dominate in arrangements designed on a formal grid. Around the perimeters of the property large oaks shade an under story of native plants, and provide a transition from the formality of the core garden to a place of the wild.
Other garden attractions:
- Expect the unexpected! A giraffe greets visitors near the gardens’ entrance; a mother and child grasshopper pair nestles in the oval-shaped lawn; the large copper cauldron pond is surrounded by native sedges and an accompanying assortment of finely crafted insects.
- Expect nudity, too! Throughout the garden are lovely sculptures of people kissing, bent over a stream of flowing water, reclining on the lawn, and resting on the diving board, in this world away from the bustle of urban life.
- This garden has been featured in Fine Gardening Magazine, Today’s Home Magazine, and the Front Yard Idea Book.
Gardening for Wildlife: Numerous bird feeders and the delightful sound of falling water, heard throughout the garden courtesy of the three fountains, attract birds and soothe people.
Garden Talks: 12:00 “Sudden Oak Death: What it is, and how to prevent it” by Janice Alexander, from the California Oak Mortality Task Force.
Native plant-related items sold/given away: The California Natives Plant Society will sell native plant reference books and memberships. Join CNPS today and be entered in a drawing to receive a free landscape consultation!