Dry Season 2021


Landscape Projects

We have many interesting projects in design and construction. Life is good.... 

This last season saw us designing and installing a stormwater infiltration basin in a previously asphalt covered parking area. Now, stormwater is routed into the basin, which is heavily planted with water tolerant plants. The water filters through the plant root zone and leaves hydrocarbon pollutants behind as it heads toward the nearby Codornices Creek. Let us know if you'd like an infiltration basin to slow your stormwater runoff.


Garden Tours

As part of our commitment to spreading awareness of ecologically sustainable landscaping, Four Dimensions participates in local garden tours each year.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour was held online on consecutive Sundays in May. It was a wonderful tour! For the 17th consecutive year, our group participated. This year, several gardens designed and built by Four Dimensions were featured. You can learn more about the tour and workshops by following this link:  BringingBackTheNatives   We'll see you there next year!



We continue our work as members of the EBMUD Landscape Advisory Committee. We are excited that this position allows us to influence the development of water conservation policy in the East Bay. We are looking forward to our continuing collaboration with our water district. 


Lectures and Workshops

It's been a busy few months of meeting new people and sharing ideas about sustainable garden design, construction and management. Michael presented an overview of the topic of sustainable landscaping to the  EBMUD landscape advisory committee.

Michael and Linda co-led two workshops on Introducing the New California lawn as a fund raiser for the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour earlier in the season. 

Michael presented a lecture to the South Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. The meeting was well attended and the presentation well received. There is rapidly growing interest in the use of California natives in the designed landscape.

Co-owners Michael Thilgen and Linda Juratovac presented an overview of native plant garden design to an enthusiastic overflow crowd at Annie's Annuals, a fine local nursery. We're happy to continue our longstanding relationship with Annie's. Annie's website can be found here: AnniesAnnuals

Michael re-visited the Sausal Creek restoration project in Dimond Canyon for a presentation to the Alameda County Watershed Forum. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:  Invasive Species Identification, Removal and Revegetation" The Sausal Creek restoration project is coordinated by the Friends of Sausal Creek and supported by several public agencies. Their website can be found here: FriendsOfSausalCreek

He also presented a training program for City of Oakland Parks department workers in earlier this year. As sustainably designed landscape projects become more common, there is a real need for well-trained maintenance staff. This seminar was a step toward the goal of a knowledgeable work force in Oakland's parks. 

Michael spoke to an interested group of home gardeners at the Moraga Garden Club, where we discussed the use of art in gardens and the value of California native plants in the home landscape. 



We typically have several projects in design and construction, and that is the case now. We are hard at work designing new gardens that will be constructed later this year.



The Northern California chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects presented a Merit award to Restoration Design Group for the recent Sausal Creek restoration project in Dimond Park in Oakland. Four Dimensions was a member of the design team. We provided the planting plan and supervised installation of the project. The project is thriving and is already well loved by the community. You can learn more at this website: FriendsOfSausalCreek

We are happy to announce that the California Landscape Contractors Association presented two first place awards to Modern Landscaping for their work on the Myers garden. Mike Hertzer, owner of Modern Landscaping, worked closely with Four Dimensions staff while installing our design. Congratulations, Mike! For more information on the Myers' garden, visit their website: CasaDosRios



The Lamorinda Weekly recently published a profile on Anne Chambers and Ed McAlpine. Anne and Ed's garden was featured in the Bringing Back the Natives garden tour. Their garden demonstrates our interests in food production and Californica native plants for ecological restoration.

Our good friend Sarah Sutton has published her book, Kiss Your Grass Goodbye. Valuable to the homeowner and professional alike, it is a well considered exploration of the leading edge of sustainable landscaping. We're honored to have assisted Sarah in the production of the book and to have contributed some images of our projects. We hope it will be a resounding success.

Taunton Press has released Landscaping Ideas that Work, which features the Gail Schino garden. Gail's garden has long been one of our favorites and we're delighted to see it receiving national exposure in the very fine Taunton series.

We're very pleased that on one of our gardens was featured in the Fall issue of Pacific Horticulture Magazine. Jean Myers wrote a nicely illustrated summary of her native garden in Gilroy, with particular emphasis on habitat value. We're honored to appear in such a high quality publication as Pacific Horticulture. A link for the article can be found here: PacificHorticultureMagazine

Last year we worked with to help produce their new Bay Friendly Landscape Guide to Recycled-content and Salvaged Materials. This newly published booklet is aimed toward landscape professionals. We have many years of experience finding ways to lessen the flow of waste to the landfill and we're delighted to participate in this new effort. To see our previous work with, check out the Bay Friendly Landscape Guidelines at the following link: BayFriendlyLandscapeGuidelines

Gail Schino's garden was profiled in an Oakland Magazine article. We're especially pleased with Gail's garden and its popularity at the Bay Friendly Garden tour.

The article can be found here: OaklandMagazine


Fine Gardening

We were happily surprised to open our water bill and discover that EBMUD chose one of our gardens to support their water conservation message. The Eichenfeld garden illustrates our commitment to making beautiful, functional, drought adapted gardens that support ecological health. The photo was taken from EBMUD's Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates, which we helped to produce. A link for the book can be found here: EBMUDBook

Co-owner Michael Thilgen was interviewed for an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. The focus is on the new generation of "smart" irrigation controllers. Here's a link to the article: SFChronicle

The Myers garden was featured in an article in the Gilroy Dispatch. The article focuses on the native garden and it's contribution to ecological awareness. You can read it online here: GilroyDispatch

That's the news for now.... We're wishing you all a healthy and happy season. Enjoy this beautiful, dry weather and keep praying for rain!

To learn more about our services, please contact us by email at, or call us at (510)893-1999.