The old saw about weather in San Francisco—if you don’t like it, walk a block—could also be applied to Bay Area soils. Nonconformity in Bay Area rocks, along with varied topography, climate, and vegetation, has resulted in a great variety … Read more
Long, long ago, in a time before time, the place where we now live was a deep sea. Beneath the waters, however, the earth stirred. A coast range was lifted up. Rains fell upon the bare slopes. Rivers and streams … Read more
Organic matter is the most important part of the soil because it is fodder for the many organisms that keep soil alive and elastic. And because it is consumed by these organisms, soil organic matter needs to be replenished. The … Read more
When she gets out of the shower in the morning, Sue LaTourrette might find herself standing 10 feet from a great egret. “We live on a creek,” she says, “so we were used to wildlife. But we never had herons … Read more
If not for an unassuming wire fence, you might mistake Judith Larner Lowry’s garden for one of nature’s own. The tall wooden gate resists slightly, then yields, permitting the visitor to step into a quiet community of coastal scrub. Undulating … Read more
Not long ago, the Bay Area was home to wild creatures in numbers beyond reckoning. While we can’t undo generations of intensive human settlement, there’s a surprising amount of potential habitat for wildlife in the spaces in our own yards. By growing native plants, we can invite the wild back into our daily lives.
It’s really not that hard to transform your garden into a welcoming habitat for native wildlife. But you do need to know where to start. Here are a few steps to help you begin: 1. Start small. Working in a … Read more
A winding path through Kathy Welch’s garden leads to an oak grove. Photo by Saxon Holt. Kathy Welch had already begun to consider renovating her yard in the Oakland hills when she made a few discoveries. “I found a trillium … Read more