Miguel and Deborah Torres’s garden

Castro Valley

Lot size: 500 sq. ft. front garden, 500 sq. ft. back garden, and 200 sq. ft. parking strip on tour, 99% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in the fall of 2008

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

Showcase feature: Tired of spending weekends mowing the lawn, and unhappy with the amount of water their turf required, Miguel and Deborah wanted a change. After seeing how happy Miguel’s sister, Rosadelia, was with her native plant garden, they hired the same designer, Kelly Marshall of Kelly Marshall Garden Design, and the same installer, Moises Garcia. The tired lawn was replaced with water-conserving native grasses and rosy buckwheat. The soothing sound of water flowing in the modern stone water feature placed near the front door makes entering and leaving the house a pleasure. Since mowing and watering are activities of the past, these happy homeowners love the free time they have now that the lawn is gone!

Other garden attractions:

Gardening for Wildlife: Bees, butterflies and ladybugs, scarce when the garden was nothing but lawn, are now frequently seen in the garden.