Serpentine garden

This house on Melvin Court has a splendid front yard based on serpentinite: serpentinized peridotite on the right, a serpentine-lined walkway with slate in matching colors, and inlays on the path composed of serpentine medallions. The house itself is painted serpentine blue-green. Click the photo for a big version.


The Oakmore district is uniformly mapped as Franciscan sandstone, but just a little farther east it’s mapped as undivided Franciscan, so we might expect a mixture of possibilities here. The neat lines on the geologic map are as much hypotheses as they are conclusions. Other outcrops nearby look like volcaniclastic rocks, and some of this home’s neighbors use it effectively. I conclude, though, that this home’s landscape was composed with imported stones rather than assembled from what was lying around. But the rocks may well be Oakland natives from just up the way, perhaps even from the Serpentine Prairie quarry.

2 Responses to “Serpentine garden”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Nice to hear from the proprietor! I also collected this there.

  2. Spencer Friedrich Says:

    Wow! What a surprise to see our front yard featured here. Your correct in concluding that all of the stone was imported. The possible exception is the single piece of serpentine in the lower left shadow which was on the property when we bought the house in 1976. The boulders and wall construction stone was identified as “bluestone” or “Modesto bluestone” by the stone yard. The paving is a mixture of “Connecticut blue” and “true blue” flagstone, with “bluestone” inlay in the medallions.

    I enjoy reading your posts on Oakland geology, and it was a special treat to see our front yard in one.

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