Ward and Pat Belding’s garden – #21


Lot size: 1,700 sq. ft. front garden, 90% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in December of 2007

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 4

Showcase Feature

Inspired by the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, Ward and Pat hired Middlebrook Gardens to design and install a low-water, low-maintenance garden in place of their water- and energy-demanding lawn. The native garden has reduced Ward and Pat’s water bill considerably. The garden includes a variety of native plants suitable for Pleasanton’s hot summers, including several varieties of sage, and manzanita, California fuchsia, Santa Cruz Island buckwheat, California lilac, monkeyflower, and island alum root.

Other Garden Attractions belding-139

  • The burbling fountain near the front door provides the welcome sound of falling water, soothing to people and attractive to wildlife.
  • The plants selected for the garden include a range of foliage types, from the silvery leaves of white sage, to tufts of various native grasses, to glossy, dark green leaves of the California lilac ‘Carmel Creeper.’
  • Small drifts of wildflowers add color to quiet moments in the garden.


Gardening for Wildlife belding-140

Birds love to drink from, splash about, and bathe in the three fountains in this garden.  The native fuchsia attracts hummingbirds. Bees buzz the buckwheats, sages, and California lilacs.

Garden Talk

Alrie Middlebrook will be available all day to discuss how she and her staff worked with Ward and Pat to design the garden, review the challenges they encountered, and describe the merits of the plants that were installed. Bring photos of your own gardens to obtain design advice and plant recommendations!

Native Plant Sale

Middlebrook Gardens will sell a variety of native plants suitable for Pleasanton’s hot, dry summers.

Plant list

More photos: