Pat and John Hierro’s garden

Castro Valley

Lot size: 800 sq. ft. front garden only on tour, 99% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in 2007

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

Showcase feature: Prior to its transformation, the front garden was junipers (which Pat is allergic to!) and exotic shrubs. Pat and John wanted to get away from both sneezes and that “blah” look—and they also wanted a neat, manicured appearance. The new garden, designed by Rick Alatorre of Alatorre Garden Design, and installed by Rick and John, has a reduced lawn surrounded by wide garden beds planted with a colorful array of natives.


Other garden attractions:


Gardening for Wildlife: Native bees love the coyote mint; hummingbirds are attracted to the California fuschia; butterflies nectar around the rosy buckwheat. Wildlife feel so comfortable here that recently a family of finches (including 6 babies) nested in the holiday wreath on the front door!

More photos