Return to the Wave Garden

Last Saturday, after visiting Annie’s Annuals & Perennials in Richmond, I took my mother-in-law to see the Wave Garden in nearby Point Richmond. I wrote a long post about this very special garden in February 2014. Please refer to it to see how it it has developed.

As I said in my earlier post, the owners of the Wave Garden, Jeanne and Vern Doellstedt, bought the property adjacent to their home to prevent it from being developed (and presumably from blocking their view of San Pablo Bay, the northern extension of San Francisco Bay). They decided to turn it into a collaborative space combining concrete walls and paths, metal gates and fences, and lush yet drought-tolerant plantings that provide visual interest and color year round. To top it all off, they elected to open the garden up to the public to enjoy. The result is utterly stunning and unique, as you will see in this post.

This gate greets you at the lower entrance (there’s an upper entrance without a gate as well)

The metal work is by Robert Sharpe...

...the concrete work by Victor Amador

Why have boring trees…

…when you can have cabbage trees from South Africa
(Cussonia sp,, possibly Cussonia paniculata)
Furcraea foetida ‘Mediapicta’ and bloomed-out aeoniums

I still love the concrete walkways and walls
What’s left of an Aeonium escobarii
View of San Pablo Bay and the Richmond Bridge

Look at the color of this smokebush (Cotinus coggygria)

Richmond has the perfect climate for it. In my garden, it’s a sickly green.

Lovely place to sit and take in the view

My wonderful mother-in-law looking at the equally wonderful Leucospermum ‘Spider’


I guess that’s why they call it Leucospermum ‘Spider’

One of several metal sculptures by the late Douglas Purdy

A particularly nice planter

Leucadendron ‘Jester’

Leucadendron ‘Jester’ and—well, I don’t know. Any ideas?

At this point, the battery in the point-and-shoot camera I was using died. I had intended to bring a spare but didn’t. On top of that, I’d left my own cell phone in the car so I ended up using my mother-in-law’s Motorola Moto E2 phone for the remaining photos in this blog (hence the almost panoramic aspect ratio). Fortunately, virtually all current cell phones have decent cameras. A few years ago I wouldn’t have been so lucky.


Look at that silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum) in the background!

Not to mention the leucospermum and Aeonium ‘Cyclops’

Aeonium ‘Cyclops’ growing in a sea of pennisetum

Aeonium ‘Garnet’
How to get there: The Wave Garden is located in Point Richmond. Take I-80 to El Cerrito and get off at the Carlson Blvd exit. Then follow the directions of your GPS to Grandview Court in Point Richmond (37°55'41"N, 122°23'36"W). The Wave Garden doesn’t have a street address per se, but the entrance is located at the end of Grandview Court. It looks like this on Google Earth:

The Wave Garden is only 5 miles (about 10 minutes) from Annie’s Annuals so you can easily combine a visit to both. Here are Google Maps directions to the Wave Garden from Annie’s.


  1. Thanks for sharing your visit. It's a gorgeous garden. I hope my Leucadendron 'Jester' reaches that size someday. I'm very jealous of the Leucospermum, which I just seem to have no luck with.

    1. My 'Jester' is quite small, too, but it's finally pushing new growth. Oh, to have the climate of Richmond...

  2. Impressive as ever! And even more so that it's open to the public despite essentially being a private garden.

    1. That's what I love about it. It such a beautiful, peaceful place. Both times I've been there, there was nobody else.

  3. Wow!! stunning!!! this is such a beautiful garden and right now it is awesome with all those protea blooms.

    1. You visited the Wave Garden last year, didn't you? The proteas are off the charts...

  4. If only that were my front yard...

    1. ...or mine! I've always wanted to live on a hill with a view!

  5. looks awesome, they need to get hold of the neighbours yard as well & spill over into that vast void!

  6. What a fun day out. I order from Annie's Annuals but would love to go there in person. This garden is very cool and what amazing people to share it with others.

    1. I love the fact that the Wave Garden is open to the public with no strings attached. It's a wonderful gift to the folks of Point Richmond as well as an inspiration to homeowners far and wide.

  7. This is such a wonderful garden from what I've seen (in photos)! Love the metal work...

    1. Me too!

      Any plans for a trip to Northern California? If so, I'll send you a list of must-see places :-).


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