3171 Barry Avenue

This garden is a must see for those who think that water conservation means giving up color! It has the lush feel of an English Garden with an expected water usage of one quarter the lawns that they replaced.

The garden in front is made up of mostly California natives that are either drought tolerant or drought resistant. Because the garden is under a rather massive California Sycamore tree, they needed expert advice as to what might survive and even flourish there. The back garden consists of several rooms and areas of the garden with different heights and features, including a pond with a waterfall and fish (once a leaking redwood hot tub), an arbor, a small rose garden, a fountain area and two patio areas.

The garden has evolved over the last 15-20 years. Mistakes are inevitable and they have learned to tolerate plants dying or not doing so well without feeling like that they have been a “bad mother/caretaker.”

In the back they have daylilies, roses, lions’ manes, irises, hydrangeas (mostly from Trader Joe’s indoor plants), a lotus, and several vines. Their favorites are the clematis vines, the roses, wisterias and the lions’ tails. The front includes heuchera, iris, agapanthus, juncos, scirpus, eriogonum, festuca, pittosporum, coleonema, dorychnium, ceanothus, arctostaphylos , mimulus, azelias and camellias. For the most part, these plants were provided by their garden designer, Steve Gerischer, who gave a course at the Arboretum on how to get rid of lawns.

The owners so enjoy sitting in the back and watching the butterflies, the hummingbirds, the bees, finches and many birds they can’t name or identify.