Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nichols Garden

(photo by Floradoragardens)
Nichols Garden
Location: Oakland

Garden Description by Ann Nichols:
When eco-visionary landscape designer Bob Clark first visited Ann Nichols’ house in the late 90’s, he found a boring narrow walkway along the side that led up from the street to the back yard. Today one is drawn toward a whimsical fence built of tree branches and ropes which Cristo and Robinson Crusoe might have built together. One climbs past gurgling water that passes through salvage pipes onto shells, then along a mini-canal and into ponds surrounded by her personal collectibles embedded in cement. On the wall at the top, a mirror set within a mosaic mural invites the curious visitor into the back yard.

On the other side of the gate, one discovers a yard on many levels, each designed as an outdoor room. The black and silver garden, called the entry “parlor,” is bordered by a wooden fence and two cement walls. Another mirror hangs from the fence, as if to say “you are here!”  Jasmine, a Japanese maple, heucheras, black mondo grass and various ferns create a restful spot for a visitor to sit and enjoy the cool shade.

Going past the patio, one enters the white garden. White digitalis, gardenias, white day lilies and other flowers whose hues range from chalk to cream give this room its color. Up another level lies a lawn, bordered brightly colored flower beds.

Higher on the hill is the Rose garden. Weeping Sequoia, tied together, form an allee  into this fragrant garden underplanted with blue flowered perennials. Forget-Me-Nots, Salvias, Clematis, Irises, and Geraniums color this room, as does the blue star creeper that grows between the patio pavers.

The front garden at the street is the most recently developed. This garden was built around a Canary Date Palm, the only plant that remains on the property from the time the house was purchased 30 years ago. For the most part, there is a subtropical feel here. It is filled with Bromeliads Echeverias, Orchids, Tillandsias and Aloes. The hope was to give passers by a few seconds in the tropics on their way to their busy lives!

Fling Attendees: Please add a link to your post about this garden in the comments section below.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Is this a house or a wedding place? design of planting and landscaping is great.

  4. So those archways were weeping Sequoias! Cool. They were beautiful.

    Here's my post about that beautiful garden:

    Nichols Garden Post

  5. Every part of this garden was wonderful, but here's the one thing I was able to take back home to my garden.

    Growing Tillansias in Palms

  6. An absolutely incredible garden. My post has a bazillion pictures, but I'd still like to go back and see more. Hillside magic in the Nichols Garden: San Francisco Garden Bloggers Fling

  7. Take a stroll through this delightful and colorful Oakland Garden that we visited at the San Francisco Fling. My favorite garden by far, I loved the unique plants, hot color and garden vignettes. Stunning San Francisco Fling Tour of my Dream Garden


Thanks for taking the time to comment!