Explore The Gardens at Heather Farm!
Whether your a budding botanist, bird-watcher, dog-walker or just out for some fresh air and sunshine, a stroll through our many, varied garden areas is both inspiring and educational.
Featuring more than a dozen unique garden areas, our property is home to a full spectrum of plants, including California natives, shrubs, annuals, perennials, trees, ferns, drought-tolerant, grasses, herbs, salvias and of course, roses. Thousands of roses in every shade of pink, red, yellow and orange fill the heart of the garden each year from spring through fall, making a truly eye-catching and fragrant experience. Don’t miss it.
Take a virtual tour through some of our unique garden areas! Volunteer docent and garden expert, Christy, walks you through the best spots to learn more about our natural world.
If you’re visiting, be sure to see these garden areas:
Featuring more than 1,000 roses and 150 cultivars, this majestic garden at the heart of our property boasts a stunning display of the many styles of growing roses and blooms from spring through fall. Dedicated to Robert Cowden.
Offering expansive views of Mt. Diablo, this hillside garden blends California natives and Mediterranean plantings that thrive in full sun and dry conditions. Donated by the Humphries family.
Fragrance, color and texture dominate this garden that rests next to our patio and pavilion bar at the rear of the building. Along with a splashing fountain, the raised beds allow visitors of all ages and abilities to participate in the stimulation of the senses that this garden provides.
Growing on either side of the pathway just beyond the Gazebo at the base of the Riparian garden rests a diverse selection of low-growing plants that like dry, fast-draining soil such as pine, spruce, palms, salvias, and succulents.
Tucked behind the Cowden Rose Garden at the base of the Mordy Tree Grove lies the Children’s Garden, a joyful and educational haven perfect for little ones (and big ones) to explore nature in all its forms.
With eleven waterfalls, this peaceful garden cascading through the middle of our property offers a variety of food sources for butterflies and beneficial insects. Located in the center of the property, this garden glows in both morning and afternoon light.
In addition to tall ash trees, a beautiful arbor provides support for a variety of clematis while creating shade for ferns, dogwoods, native heucheras, camellias and other woodland favorites. Also known as the Ruth Howard Garden.
Rugosa roses, pine trees, and low shrubs encircle a large, open lawn area great for relaxing on a sunny day.
Creating a pretty border on the far side of the Meadow Garden, Camellia Grove features dozens of winter-blooming Camellia trees of many unique varieties.
Blue Star Memorial Garden
Shades of red, white and blue dominate this garden, which serves as a tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces. The brilliant foliage of Acer buergeranum, Trident Maple, and the soft blue-purple tones of hydrangea are this garden’s focal points.
The dazzling chrysanthemum is a fall bloomer featured in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. The chrysanthemum flower can be used in making tea and has many medicinal uses. In memory of Steve Dawkins.
Developed via a grant from the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), this garden along the right side of our building demonstrates plants arranged according to water needs (hydrozoned). An in-line drip irrigation routine and heavy mulch help to retain moisture to adapt to the dryness of our changing climate.
And for more to explore, check out these areas:
Five thousand Daffodil (Narcissus tazetta) bulbs of three different varieties rest in soil the along a gentle, sloping hillside right in the heart of the garden. Once bloomed in late winter/early spring, the hillside between the ash tree grove and the Children’s Garden bursts with the colors of golden sunshine. In memory of Michael Preisler.
Native Plant Garden
Celebrating California’s beautiful native plants, this garden features some of the best natives for growing in an oak woodland.
Ashe Tree Allee
Fraxinus oxicarpa ‘Raywood’ or Raywood Ash line the paved driveway through the garden creating a canopy of shade.
Black Pine Garden
Dedicated to the art of Bonsai, the featured Black Pine (normally a 100-foot tree), was propagated in 1949.
Anne Ward Garden
This lawn provides a lovely vista overlooking the rose garden and neighboring park fountains and is shaded by six Prunus yedonsis ‘Akebono’ Daybreak Japanese flowering cherry trees.
This sunny hillside garden is at its peak during the summer months when an explosion of annual and perennial flowers attract many butterflies who use flowers as a source of nectar.
Perennials and shrubs are massed together creating pillows of color and texture in this hillside garden. The garden is watered by an in-line drip system and the plantings are arranged according to water needs (hydrozoned).
On the back side of our grounds bordering the park, this shaded garden offers trees, shrubs and flowers that thrive under oaks and along creeks. Many of the plantings also provide habitat or food for wildlife.