Chris Shein is a Bay Area permaculture guru and teacher who transformed our yard into a developing food  and flower forest. He handled every aspect of the work from design to implementation, was easy to work with, and made our dollars go a long way. We now have sustainable and low maintenance front and back yards filled with a variety of traditional and exotic flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables, partially irrigated   by a rain garden and rain barrel. I highly recommend Chris for implementing your permacultural/urban farming vision.

Paul Kivel, Educator, Activist, and Writer

I first met Christopher of Wildheart Gardens 4 years ago when I took his permaculture course at Merritt College. I was so impressed with his knowledge of native and beneficial plants and trees that I hired him as a consultant for my property in Oakland.

Since I live close to a busy street, he recommended several native and drought tolerant plants for the ivy covered embankment adjacent to the street. When he recommended each plant or tree, he could tell me the plant combinations that work well together, how the plant looks during different seasons, and whether it will attract hummingbirds or beneficial insects. I found his knowledge base very impressive, and his approach versatile as he had many options if I wanted alternate selections.

In addition to plant selection, Christopher showed me how to install swales to capture rainwater and minimize watering throughout the year. He also sent over his tree trimmer friend to drop off an entire truckload of mulch to cover the large area free of charge. In one season the salvias and native plants have filled in so beautifully that neighbors walking by have commented on how they are now inspired to work on their own gardens. Another neighbor said that he had lived in the area for over 20 years and had never seen anyone garden in the embankment as it was such a challenging area.

I  wholeheartedly recommend Wildheart Gardens for creating a beautiful, practical, low maintenance and bountiful landscape.


Christopher is an amazing, passionate, thoughtful and creative permaculture designer.  I had asked Christopher to help me landscape a garden last year.  I have a full time job in San Francisco so with commute and work hours, I’m not left with much time to do gardening.  I wanted something that was going to be low maintenance so I could keep up with it, beautiful so it would be provide me with a space to relax, and supportive to both me (food) and the land.  Christopher took time to understand my needs, really look at the space I was planting in so that he could understand how the plants would change over time (season and years).  He came up with a great plan and I now have plenty of delicious foods and herbs that are basically self-maintained.  I feel successful because the garden is easy for me to care for and it is very peaceful and beautiful.  Christopher makes himself available to me when I need help, either with changing out plants as I learn more about my tastes, or trimming plants back (instead of me probably killing them!), and continuing to help me build out my oasis.  And, I find him incredibly reasonably priced!  I highly recommend Christopher to anyone who is interested in creating a lush, permacultured landscape that is good for you and for the planet.