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Lorraine Kalich’s property in San Ramon was one of the native plant landscapes featured on this year’s Bringing Back the Natives (Virtual) Tour (BBTN). Lorraine introduced herself as “not a gardener” and said that her front and backyard landscapes demonstrated the hardiness of many California native plants. And yet the beauty of their natural looking landscape was inspiring.

Lorraine hired Susan in 2015 to design and transform their property, which overlooks the Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space, to be low water, low maintenance, provide habitat for wildlife and have a “national park feel.” The team at SFLA designed working stream beds to handle drainage, curving paths, a yellow moss rock fountain, patios overlooking vistas, and chose grasses to sway in the wind, shrubs and trees to provide structure, and flowers to add color and seasonal interest. Lorraine turned off the drip irrigation system after the first two years, and the garden now thrives on just the winter rains and the occasional summer hand watering if it gets really hot.

To see for yourself the transformation – the process and the beautiful result, watch the 13-minute video here.

To see the whole program of each of the BBTN Sundays in the Gardens, you can watch Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 on YouTube. For photos and plant lists of all the gardens featured, visit the BBTN website.

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Kalich - Boulder fountain, Japanese maple tree, native planting, stamped concrete

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