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The Gardens of Lake Park

Articles: The Gardens of Lake Park

Containers of various sizes and shapes fill the terrace garden outside the residents’ lounge with small trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Photographs by RGT

After years of gardening on a modest suburban lot, Mary Lynn Cox, known to readers for her annual appeal to support the Friends of Pacific Horticulture, moved to a retirement community. She was surprised to learn that she need not have left her gardening tools behind.

Lake Park Retirement Residence is situated one and a half blocks from Oakland’s crown jewel: Lake Merritt. In a neighborhood of high-rise apartments and office buildings, all competing for sunlight and a lake view, Lake Park attracts no notice from the street, where most buildings have the obligatory strip of green lawn or ivy interspersed with street trees and unremarkable foundation plantings. Only as one crosses the grand hotel-like lobby does the unsuspecting visitor glimpse a lovely garden on a generous terrace outside the residents’ gracious lounge. Huge containers filled with choice plants are artfully arranged such that the garden cannot be seen in a single glance.

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