Three years ago, Christina Schneck had just had it with the unhealthy grass in the garden of her Mediterranean-style home Piedmont home that hadn't been replaced in her 25 years there.
"It stopped being pretty," she said. "I just couldn't justify watering it."
Schneck ripped it out and replaced it with a garden to envy. She replaced the gardener, too, taking over nurturing the space herself.
With the help of Oakland-based landscape designer Sherry Merciari, Christina and husband Stuart have since created the aptly named Mediterranean Delight, a collection of succulents, roses, murals, sculptures and kangaroo paws that can be seen during the upcoming Garden Conservancy Open Days tour.
"I will buy plants and know them and what they are doing," she said. "The garden has a loud voice. I am out there 20 hours a week."
The self-guided tour, put on by a national garden preservation organization, will open seven private East Bay gardens to enthusiasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22. The cost is $5 per garden.
With stonework and water features, Merciari Designs laid the groundwork for a garden the Schnecks could be proud of.
"I just love my garden so much and just want to share it," Schneck said.
Merciari recommended the couple put their garden on the tour. The designer, which has been involved with the tour for at least 10 years, will be at the garden during the event to answer questions.
WHAT: Garden Conservancy's Open Days tour
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22
WHERE: Seven East Bay gardens
COST: $5 at each garden