The owner of the half-acre garden in Redwood Heights is a landscaper who displays his love of plants in his garden and knows how to use the land. This garden is where visitors will find the gift boutique, plant sale and complimentary refreshments on the Hillside Garden Tour on April 30. (Courtesy of Porter Poirier)
The owner of the half-acre garden in Redwood Heights is a landscaper who displays his love of plants in his garden and knows how to use the land. This garden is where visitors will find the gift boutique, plant sale and complimentary refreshments on the Hillside Garden Tour on April 30. (Courtesy of Porter Poirier)

OAKLAND — The Hillside Gardeners of Montclair have been furthering knowledge and a love of gardening for 70 years, working toward the conservation of native wildlife while encouraging amateurs and master gardeners alike to create their own outdoor spaces.

Every two years, the organization presents the community with its Hillside Garden Tour. On April 30, six residential Oakland gardens will open their gates, inviting in all who appreciate and want to learn more about gardening in the city’s temperate climate.

Proceeds from the event go directly back into horticulture, 100 percent being used for scholarships and internships for horticultural students, and to support several local conservation organizations.

Consideration went into the selection of this year’s gardens with tour chair Barbara Peterson looking for accessibility and relative proximity to one another.

“They’re nicely clustered, so someone could comfortably get through all six in two hours,” she said. “We also wanted a diversity of gardens, we didn’t want them all to look the same and we achieved that. We have vegetables, succulents, flowers, interesting water solutions.”

Gardens range from a tiny hidden succulent paradise to a stunning half-acre spread in Oakland’s “banana belt,” with four other garden experiences in between. Among the six visitors will discover habitats for native birds, bees and butterflies; drought tolerant succulents, cactuses and California natives; rain storage and…