Thursday, February 4, 2016

We Met The Designer

When it's done right...it looks great!
A garden buddy and I stopped to admire a lawnless property in the neighborhood.
 Raised berms around the edge of the front garden provide privacy and noise reduction.  It is situated on a busy corner.  The soil came from a nearby pool dig. 
 Plants included succulents such as Aloes and Agaves, native Salvias, California native plants such as Ceanothus, Artostaphylos and a native Oak.  There were also rocks and boulders. 
Dry waterfall? 
 There was a lush feel to the garden, even though the space was not crammed full of plants.  The plants were mature but not overgrown.
 Agaves and Salvia apiana, which is native to this area. 
The rocks added to the natural feel;  the whole effect was beautiful.  This garden won a local "Water Wise" contest in 2009, so the plants have been in place at least six or seven years. 
 While we were admiring the work, the man who lived next door to this home stopped to chat.  It turned out he was the designer.  We complemented him on his work, and he mentioned he'd also done the house at the end of the block.  We went to have a look at that one, too. 
 

 Another stylish design, though this one suffered a bit from less than skilled maintenance--ornamental grasses sheared into buns rather than being cut to the ground. 
 Good plant choices, just in need of appropriately timed cut backs...


 From the side of the property:
 This is also a corner property.  An pre-existing-to-the-project tree on the corner, a curved wall faced in stone, a small UC Verde Buffalo Grass lawn, currently dormant. 
 A deck on the side of the home. 
 At the side of the home was a vegetable garden hidden behind a stylish fence.  The garage door is to the right in this photo.
 This project was done four years ago. 
 Time for a bit of editing, but lots of happy healthy good looking plants...
 This was the designer's home.  He said he's working on a Permaculture garden.  He also said the cobbler's children never have shoes.  Obviously a lot of experimentation was going on. 
 He was starting seeds in recycled raingutters.
 Besides a lot of experimenting, there was this really cool Opuntia out front.  Opuntia gomei 'Old Mexico', perhaps?
 Cool, eh?  Like a weird creature chewing...
When I got home, another weird creature was chewing away...on her brother's ear.
  You never know what you will find if you look. 

18 comments:

  1. I love seeing "what's doing" in your neighborhood and the puppies are always good for a smile. :-)

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  2. That first garden is wonderful! Also love the "cobbler's children..." comment -- hadn't heard that before. :)

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  3. I love that first garden. Well done indeed!

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    1. It's a gem--CA native front-yard gardens are usually yuck.

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  4. Great front gardens, i like his style. It is hard to be a designer and a plant geek and keep your garden under control. I love the berms and dry waterfall. Good use of pool excavation.

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    1. So many lawnless gardens in the neighborhood are fails--this one succeeded! Maintenance is also a factor--this one has so little clipping needed--that was part of its success I think. Nothing sheared into pouffes.

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  5. The blooming Aloes pick up the trim color of the house and I love the way the rooflind seems to float above the plantings (first garden).

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    1. Yes, lovely colors. The designer has a masters in art, and it showed in his color choices.

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  6. Very nice! I like what the berms add to the first garden. And experiments like in the last garden are always great.

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    1. Yes he was really experimenting--all kinds of stuff, kale, bamboo, cactus, tropical palms all together.

      The berms were great--6' tall! They were not stingy with the berming, and it works.

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  7. Very nice, that first garden. Good to see Salvia appiana used in homescaping. I just saw it marked today at the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden as as a good native for home gardens. Puppies lovely - as always!

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    1. I've seen that Salvia in several gardens, looking ornamental--it just needs to be cut to the ground at the right time of year, which not everyone does so it can get ratty looking. Also seen it growing wild in our local wilderness park--it's native to this very area.

      Hope you are having a great time here. No rain--not even clouds!

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  8. What's the fine-textured tree/shrub to the left of the walk in the first picture (appears again below 'mature but not overgrown')? Is it at its mature size, because otherwise it seems like a threat to become out of scale. But I love its looks.

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    1. Yes, I wondered that myself. Appeared to be an Acacia or Hakea, maybe. There were a couple of plants I should have asked Mr. Designer about. He said a few things had died here and there and were replaced--so not everything is original to the circa-2008 project.

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  9. We constantly have to admonish our younger dog to quit chewing on the older, who just sits there and takes it - to a point.

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    1. Boris absolutely loves it. Perhaps he feels Mama Dog is back and with him. He goes to sleep while Natasha chews on him, only occasionally shrieking if she accidentally clamps on to his ear.

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