Far Out Flora

Our Neighborhood Oakland Gardens


Salvia confertiflora looking pretty with the purple trim

I’ve been collecting pics of the neighborhood gardens via Instagram since we moved to Oakland in early July. The above is a garden on our block and I LOVE it. It’s a little edible and a little ornamental with lots of purple plants to match the house. We live in the Frick neighborhood near Mills College and Maxwell Park. Some directions are better to walk than others.

Love the Eriogonum grande var. rubescens

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is one of Kelly Kilpatrick’s (Floradora) gardens. Love all those bright colors and contrasty textures!

Shady succulents

Don’t forget that lots of succulents don’t mind shade. Especially if you live somewhere that gets crazy hot. Our new neighborhood is very warm and sunny. Almost a little too warm, we’re missing life close to the beach.

Front yard veggies

Hurray for lots of people growing veggies out front! I see tons of front yards with food on my walks.

Fake grass and Agaves

As weird as this combo is, I actually kind of like it. The pineappled bases of the agaves are the perfect match for astroturf.


Unfortunately placed agaves

Ooops! We did this when we first moved to California. No one tells you how huge some of these guys get, especially if it’s free on craigslist. Great for under your kid’s bedroom windows, but not next to the front door.

Agave attenuata

Happy Agave attenuatas.


Last, but not least the flowerfest house. I freaked out when we walked up to it. It’s a huge party of big honking Zinnias, Tithonia rotundifolia (I think) and a bunch more. Thanks for reading!


  1. Maybe the folks who planted the agaves by the front door just don’t like visitors? Love the shady succulents…

  2. I was in Berkeley last week and Pacific Heights. Some serious gardening up in those hills and streets. My escort gardener pal told me which way to walk.

  3. Thanks for the tour. I love Californian gardens.

  4. Beautiful photos and beautiful gardens! Thanks for sharing! I’m always a little envious of succulent gardens in the ground. Here I’m only able to grow in pots.

    • I bet there are some cold hardy guys that would be happy. Tons of sedums and semps can deal with cold. Sadly, the flashy guys all seem to be cold finicky.

  5. Wow you have a beautiful neighborhood! All those gardens are outstanding! I wonder what the backyards look like. I wish people around here had as much imagination!

    • Yeah… remember these are the best. I don’t take pics of all the super sad situations and there are many. Heck, our front yard looks pretty horrible.

  6. Your neighborhood is in such a sweet banana belt. So sorry that I missed Zoe’s 1st and your house warming! I’m such a doofus sometimes, relying on memory where not evidence supports doing so. So glad to have you back in the area. Looking forward to seeing your new garden develop.

  7. Wow, didn’t you guys move east a few years back? I had lost track of your blog at that point but stumbled upon you again only to find you are one neighborhood away from us! We just moved to King Estates, and I have been enjoying getting inspiration from some of the gardens I see on my walks as well. It’s the nature of East Oakland that you’re going to have a mixed bag, but we certainly do have some amazing gardeners in this city. One question, have you ever gotten a negative response from someone seeing you taking pictures of front yards? I’ve wanted to snap a few photos but I’m worried with all the problem of break ins and people casing houses before hand that people might get the wrong idea!

  8. Some of the coolest front yard gardens I’ve seen are in Berkeley/Oakland neighborhoods. Your pics make me want to plan a day trip (from Sacramento) soon, just to take pics of yards!

  9. Hi Megan,

    Great website! One of these photos is of our house! :) A neighbor told me to check out your site because he saw the photo of our house. I was very proud to see our little front yard veggie garden get a shout out on your website. Thanks! We get so much sun in the front, it would be a shame not to plant veggies out there. It’s also been a great way to meet our neighbors, because everyone likes to stop and chat about the veggies as the walk by.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.