Susan Decker and Michael Kreuger’s garden

Alameda

Lot size: 600 sq. ft. front garden , 60 sq. ft. parking strip, 60% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in the fall of 2011

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

Showcase Feature
Susan and Michael wanted a garden that would attract birds, bees, and butterflies and be water conserving, low maintenance, mostly native, and fragrant. Their petite, shady garden, which was planted in the fall of 2011, is just that. Perennial coral bells line the walkway, attracting hummingbirds with their attractive, creamy-to-pink bell-shaped flowers. Iris reveal their lavender-to-deep purple blossoms from spring to summer, delighting native bees and butterflies which follow the exquisite nectar guidelines on the blossoms to the nectar source within the flower. Manzanita provide structure and greenery throughout the year.

Other Garden Attractions
• In spring the scent of the fragrant pink-flowering currant wafts across the garden.
• This garden is watered once or twice a week in the summer.
• Saunter across the street to Robin Heyden’s garden.

Gardening for Wildlife
Native flowers, such as poppies, coyote mint, and alum root provide nectar to bees and butterflies; berries on the pink-flowering currant attract birds. Hummingbirds frequent flowers on the manzanita and currant. California towhees love to scratch for seeds and insects in the mulch, chirping brightly as they do so. Ruby-crowned kinglets, white crowned sparrows, and finches are also seen in the garden.
Butterflies are drawn to the large, cream-colored landing pads (aka flowers) of the yarrow, and native bees adore the sage.