Lois Reynolds and Terry Mead’s garden
Lot size: 4,000 sq. ft. side/back gardens on tour, 95% native
Garden Age: Side garden was installed in the fall of 2006; the back garden in 2007.
Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 2
Showcase feature: The side and back gardens, once “cement, dirt, weeds, and a hodge-podge of exotics” where Lois and Terry “hardly ever went” have been transformed by Rick Alatorre, of Alatorre Garden Design, into a tranquil haven adorned with Lois’ handmade mosiac tiles, her father’s lithograph press (now used as garden art), and a pair of beautiful wrought iron plant-motif gates. A series of berms that mimic the surrounding rolling hillsides and raised island beds are planted with drought-resistant natives from the chaparral and woodland plant communities.
Other garden attractions:
- Mexican feather stone was used to create the patio, which is planted with sea thrift and eye-brow grass.
- Open mesh fencing keeps deer out and the view open.
- Thick mulch makes weeding easy, while conserving water.
Gardening for Wildlife: Shrubs of varying heights and bowls of water thoughtfully placed throughout the garden provide food, shelter, and nesting areas for birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Plants are allowed to go to seed, which the birds love—more than 30 species of birds, including great horned owls, Cooper’s and red-shouldered hawks, California quail, Nuttall’s woodpeckers, black-headed grosbeaks, and white-tailed kites have been seen in, or above, this garden. Pacific tree frogs, salamanders, lizards, and garter and sharp-tailed snakes call the garden home.
Garden Talks: Meet the designer, Rick Alatorre from 2:00- 4:00 pm. Talk at 3:00 pm "How to remove a lawn" by Rick Alatorre