Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bay-Friendly Garden Tour

For this year's Bay-Friendly Garden Tour, I headed up to the Calef-Wallace garden on the Albany hill first thing, to check out a garden that was originally installed by the guys of Planet Horticulture. I love their work so I wanted to make sure and see it. No longer under their care, but you can definitely see their influences.

hillside pathrocks and aeoniumsthrough the gatesucculent fountain

hillside beds

retaining walls

shady patio

buddha and weeping cedardymondia patiopicasso quotegauguin quote

a little bit of lawn

containerblue pot

The steeply sloped garden has some fantastic views from the top.

albany bulb view

golden gate view

Some repurposed materials:

cute but look like potential snail homes

recycled bits

Next up was a stop at the Hedgecock-Sullivan garden in Oakland that belongs to the garden instructor at a local school. Lovingly constructed with help from her family, it is a great garden for kids.

succulents and shoes

yellow bench

work list


treehouse originschicken feast

Next up, a succulent lover's paradise at the Crotty-Imhoff garden, also in Oakland:

succulent slopes

succulents and stones

lot o' succulents


icing on the cake


water retentionphormium, etcbench and succulent slopesdoorstop


I think I enjoyed the Oakland garden of Sally Leveille the most. Every corner was full of collections and clusters. The intriguing vignettes were made up mostly of finds from Craigslist. I love what a creative eye can do with other people's cast-offs.

succulent collectionscollectionsrusty stuffterra cotta pot temples

more pots

collander hanging baskets

buddha corner

bromiliad pot

shady steps

blue bottle

blue repetitionlumpy planty goodnessduddleya and whatnotshells and spines

geodes, bones and succulents

love those piles of rocks

I caught the last garden, the Chang-Buttner garden in Sunol, as they were closing but the owner was kind enough to walk us and another couple around. He must have felt bad for us having walked up a long and VERY steep hill in the pouring rain to get there. (Earlier attendees were able to catch a shuttle up the hill.) My mom was along for the tour and I joked with her to look like she was about to keel over once we got to the top so they wouldn't kick us out without getting to see the garden. I guess it worked since the owner came out and gave us a personal tour! Thanks Mom!

The house was built into the hill and had a large planted roof and an amazing view.

green roof house

green roof

back of the garden with rain

view with rain

stone benchcircular parking area

veggie beds

Above the house was a lovely pond with bridge.

bridge over the pond

bridge detailpond and green roof

Whew! Long post. Who made it to the end?


  1. I did! (made it to the end)...with fabulous photos like these I bet everyone does. So gorgeous...

  2. I did! Such great texture in those first two gardens, and I thought the signs in the children's garden were really cute.

  3. I made it to the end as well. All the gardens are amazing! I want a garden that looks like the 7th picture (5th row down). BTW, would you know if the plants in the last garden are just regular clumps of grass or if they are different species?

  4. Wonderful post. Could have been longer and still wonderful--all really magical California gardens, all very different. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. I did too! I really liked the last house with the garden roof. Thanks for sharing your tour.


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