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The Evolution of a Native Garden

Articles: The Evolution of a Native Garden

Deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens), hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea), and manzanitas (Arctostaphylos) edge the driveway to the author’s Lafayette home; coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), planted at the garden’s start thirty years ago, now completely enclose the property. Photographs by Saxon Holt

“Mine is a contemplative garden, and the repetition of forms, colors, and textures brings a mood of serenity that is more important to me with each passing season. The work of the garden adds to my pleasure in it, with the rewards far exceeding the demands it makes on me. It will not be complete in my lifetime, but will continue to develop, the oaks maturing to provide satisfaction and pleasure for my grandchildren as great as was mine in planting them.”
Katherine Greenberg, A Garden Shared, Pacific Horticulture, Winter 1995

Creating a native garden has proven to be more challenging and more rewarding than I ever could have imagined when I began thirty years ago. When we acquired the 1.3-acre property on a Lafayette hillside, it was covered with annual grasses, the original oak woodland having been cleared for...

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