When you have gardened a small 5,000 sq. ft. lot for 35 years, and are passionate about plants, you have to make some tough decisions. Our front yard is a testing ground for not only garden design, but also for sun-loving drought tolerant plants. Our back yard is dominated by a huge coast live oak, so we test shade tolerant plants and do our propagation there.
Plants that make the cut here have to handle a lot of heat with our southwestern exposure, not to mention the harshest fall/winter microclimate that normally temperate Oakland can dish out. Because we are at the bottom of a hill, we get hail and frost when, it seems, no other house in the East Bay does. The plants we like to recommend have to be tough as well as beautiful!
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