The Plant Exchange Community Landscaping Awards Program was created to promote Oakland as a committed center for innovative plant selection and activities. Each October, we recognize local garden makers and plant advocates whose creative use of vegetation enriches our environment and sense of place. See our archive of past honorees.
We accept nominations year-round. If there is a person and/or organization that you would like to recognize, please send us an email including their contact information (and website, if applicable) and a paragraph or two on why you feel they should be recognized. The submission deadline is one month before the October exchange date.
Your help is invaluable in this process. Thanks for participating!
Congratulations to our 2018 honoree!
Guy Hyde Chick House
Tucked away off Oakland’s Chabot Road is a 1913 house designed by Bernard Maybeck. The house boasts an acre of botanical gardens including 400 year old Oak Trees and contemporary art installations.
It’s known as the Guy Hyde Chick House (after its first owner) and is currently owned by retired art dealer Foster Goldstrom. The garden twists and turns and is full of native plants and flowers. The Oak Trees were clearly an inspiration for the Maybeck design as they both create natural shade over the house but are also a focal point from several rooms in the home.
Congratulations to our 2017 honoree!
St. Augustine Episcopal Church
Corner of Telegraph Ave and 29th Street
The 1892 red carpenter gothic church of St Augustine’s Episcopal Church has a striking urban front garden sporting a stunning collection of varied plants and textures and colors. In downtown Oakland with the urban limits of space, this patch of greenery, beckons people into the property and serves as a fitting landscape equivalent of the intricately carved and pieces together Victorian wooden doll house church interior which is a surprising and unique survivor of downtown Oakland’s first generation of buildings.
The landscape is a joint effort of a design team consisting of people from St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Orinda and the congregation at St Augustine’s. The team has succeeded in taking a postage stamp sized piece of land and creating plant groupings which are memorable, engaging and are an amazing first class statement along the long Telegraph Avenue corridor stretching to U C Berkeley to the north. This small landscape is probably the finest landscape in downtown Oakland and is a reminder that no matter what the size of property one has, an opportunity to create a quality garden statement with an artistic use of plants is always possible.
Finally, to the church’s credit, this garden communicates well, how this congregation demonstrates how healthy and vibrant this historic institution remains and is positioned for the future, as well.