Our ExpertiseC N G F
CNGF and its predecessor, Middlebrook Gardens, have been designing and building beautiful native gardens and landscapes for over 30 years.
The California Native Garden Foundation at The Center for Urban Sustainability offers ecological garden design, build and management services. We specialize in garden landscape designs that reflect the natural beauty of California, conserve precious natural resources and link the urban landscape closer to nature. Our focus is ecology-based landscaping with the use of California native plants, carbon-neutral products and water conservation techniques, all of which help build beautiful, sustainable gardens.
Alrie Middlebrook began working with tropical plants as a professional in San Jose in 1976. She founded Interior Landscape Design in 1980, which specialized in interior garden design, installation and maintenance. The firm received more interior awards than any other California-based indoor landscaping firm. In 1995, the name of the company was changed to Middlebrook Gardens. It expanded its practice to include native garden design and went on to design and build over 800 native gardens that reflect the natural beauty of the local ecology, conserve water and eliminate the use of harmful chemicals.
In 2020, Alrie handed over the thriving business to her nonprofit, CNGF, employing the same talented designers and builders. In recent years, they have added regenerative food gardens to their portfolio. They have continued to produce the highest quality of native and food gardens throughout the Bay Area.
Our PortfoliosC N G F
Our DesignersC N G F
Executive Director, Designer
Executive Director, Designer
Alrie has been designing native gardens since 1989. Most of her designs these days are for schools or projects associated with proposed Build 25 sites. She is part of another design team at CNGF called the Sites Consultancy Group, who is currently designing an 8-acre regenerative farm in Coyote Valley. Alrie is also doing a series of drawings that show what the future of cities may look like.
Tara Larson has a degree in Sustainable Environmental Design from the University of California, Davis. She has worked with CNGF since 2017. Along with her love of native plants, she is also passionate about growing foods in the home garden. As a mother, Tara also loves working with children and creating gardens that teach kids about healthy food and promoting a thriving ecosystem. Her goal is to create a landscape that is beautiful, functional, and sustainable.
Jane Burgunder has worked for CNGF since 2013. She has an MFA in drawing from the University of Florida and a Diploma in Landscape Design from the Gresham School of Landscape Design. Jane began her interest in native landscapes in 2000 when she removed her own lawn and planted a habitat garden. She enjoys working with clients to transform their own spaces.