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A Garden of Small Miracles

Articles: A Garden of Small Miracles

A mahagony-trunked manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) dominates the front garden; a New Zealand flax (Phormium) echoes its colors, while monkey flowers (Mimulus) and deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) brighten the scene in spring. Photographs by Terrel Brand
[sidebar]Grape leaves, ruddy and
gold sway on slender tendrils, and
all flying things are busy:
jewel colored flies and
bee flies and bees and orange
butterflies
Gillian Garro, In the Garden[/sidebar]

There may be alligator lizards living in our Oakland garden. We have seen two. The first we found injured a few years ago; thinking him a lonely survivor, we relocated him to the hills to protect him from cats. Less than a year later, we found another, this time ushering him into the front garden, which is densely planted and impenetrable enough that he would have a fighting chance. The billows of monkeyflower, Cleveland sage, California fuchsia, and tarweed, the thick native grasses, and the rocks have a small reptilian mystery at their core. We haven’t seen our lizard since we released him, but we hope he’s still there, and others as well.

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Articles: Calochortophilia: A Californian’s Love Affair with a Genus by Katherine Renz

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