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2017  - The Art of Pruning Garden Tour - East Bay Gardens

The third APA garden tour was held on October 21.  We featured gardens of the East Bay which are beautifully and expertly pruned by APA Certified Aesthetic Pruners Leslie Buck, Yuki Nara, and Dan Villaume. Each of the four gardens makes unique use of its natural setting in the East Bay hills.  

There was a book signing throughout the day by Leslie Buck, author of NYTimes reviewed memoir ‘Cutting Back’, in the Mitchell garden and pruning demos by Randall Lee, APA President, in the Bookin garden.  There were also informal presentations giving overviews of the gardens, design elements and horticultural considerations for pruning.


Everal Mitchell truly made the best of the situation after the 1991 Oakland Hills fire destroyed her home: she had a new house built in true Japanese tradition, complete with Japanese garden and a small indoor courtyard. 

The garden was designed and installed by Shigeru Namba (who installed Larry Ellison’s Woodside garden), and has been pruned by APA Certified Aesthetic Pruner Leslie Buck for two decades. Leslie will be on hand to talk about the design of the garden and her Kyoto garden memoir, Cutting Back, which just received a NYTimes book review and many great reviews such as from San Francisco Chronicle’s Pam Pierce. The natural design of Everal’s gardens have been slowly and carefully developed to create space that feels much wider than the property actually allows. Everal’s garden is a perfect example of a beautifully designed and developed Japanese garden in California.

Everal especially enjoys the walk along the downhill side of the house, passing a variety of interesting plants along the way: camellias, pines (one used for tea ceremony), maples, pieris, podocarpus, redwood, blue atlas cedar, cryptomeria, scented rhododendron, pink-flowering dogwood, crepe myrtle, white-flowering cherries and an unusual serviceberry. In the back one finds similar plants with an outstanding laceleaf maple, a tightly pruned but natural courtyard maple (same as a huge one along the driveway), magnolias, a tumbling rhododendron and more.  Leslie Buck prunes the trees and shrubs, while Everal herself performs the high quality maintenance. Their combined effort has made this and outstanding garden. 

P.O. Box 5163, Berkeley, CA 94705


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