Matthew White and Sarah Holzman’s garden


Lot size: 3,000 sq. ft. garden, 95% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in the fall of 2007

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

Showcase feature: It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago this garden consisted of a poorly maintained lawn, a mass of weeds, failing wood retaining walls, and an uninviting concrete walkway. Matthew thought the house was special (it is!) and wanted a low-maintenance, water-conserving garden with a California ethos to complement it. Today, an inviting flagstone pathway planted occasionally with thyme leads past a meadow on one side, and a vibrant mix of hardy natives on the other. A large boulder native to the site is surrounded by a wild profusion of purple Cleveland sage and penstemon, orange monkeyflowers, and rosy pink buckwheats. The shady area near the house is lush with ferns, wild ginger, and flowering and evergreen currants. Plants were chosen to tolerate the thin, nutrient-poor soil and intense exposure to the elements. They were also carefully chosen by their mature height to screen undesirable views and preserve attractive vistas. This garden was designed and installed by Michael Thilgen and the team at Four Dimensions Landscape Company.


Other garden attractions:


Gardening for Wildlife: Black and Cleveland sages attract bumblebees; hummingbirds love the tubular, red flowers of the native fuchsia and penstemons.

Plant list

Before & After Photos

More photos