Tai Moses and Michael Kerner’s garden – #17


Lot size: Entryway 375 sq. ft., back garden 800 sq. ft., side garden 450 sq. ft., 60% native

Garden Age: The garden was installed in stages, beginning in the winter of 2010

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 2

Showcase Feature

Neighbor Tai Moses watched the transformation of former Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour hosts Joan Lohman and Jenn Bien’s garden with interest, then she also hired Liz Simpson of Liz Simpson Garden Design to design her garden. Liz softened the former boxy look of the front entryway by replacing the square tiles in the landings with an organic design of flagstone and river rock pouring through groundcovers and flowing grasses.  The bordering series of rectangular retaining walls are filled with giant chain fern and creekside dogwood.

In the back garden a native meadow is surrounded by a tapestry of complementary California natives and Mediterranean plants. Liz designed a low garden wall with a creative arrangement of repurposed terracotta chimney flues planted with a diverse collection of succulents. The delicate and sculptural succulents are safely perched atop their terracotta pedestals, which also function as a dog barrier to protect a colorful bed of yarrow, lavender, and sages. Tai has described this feature as a “living art gallery.”



Other Garden Attractions moses-kerner-251

  • This garden and the animals who make their homes in it was the inspiration for Tai’s forthcoming book, Zooburbia: Meditations on the Wild Animals Among Us (Parallax Press, May, 2014). Sign up at the garden to purchase this book, and receive a discount. (Cash and checks only.)
  • Designer Liz Simpson will be at this garden from 1:30–5:00.




Gardening for Wildlife moses-kerner-247

The designed landscape is adjacent to an oasis of undeveloped land that provides great habitat for wildlife. Bees and butterflies stop by for lazy sips of nectar. Nearly twenty species of birds have been seen in or above this garden, including oak titmice, ruby kinglets, cedar waxwings, downy woodpeckers, and Cooper’s hawks.




Garden Talk

2:00 “How to design gardens with native plants: An inspired and practical approach to creating lovely spaces attractive to wildlife and people” by Liz Simpson


Music in the Garden

A little bit of sweet background ukulele will be played by Erich Sylvester now and then between 11:00 and 2:00.

Guitar music will be played from 2:30 to 5:00.


Tai Moses and Michael Kerner’s bird list

Plant list

More photos: