Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Garden For the Senses

As promised, here's a few more photos of the garden I just completed.  My client and her darling canine companion were looking for something that could allow for proper romping and fetching, but also a place to provide cut flowers and veggies with floral scents wafting through every once in while.  In other words, a peaceful spot to entertain or just slowly wander and enjoy the surroundings.


First, let me give you perspective on what we were dealing with.    An ivy-infested fence bordered one side and actually encroached on 4' of backyard!  A small sidewalk path also encroached needlessly into the space.  A dead lemon tree still stood to attention and seemed to be memorialized with borders of red bricks sunken into the ground.  The side of the house was ringed with older shrubs, but didn't offer any privacy to the windows above their canopies. 

So here's the fun part.  The area in the foreground above became a large grassy area, punctuated by redwood steps.  Lemon verbenas, roses and a new lemon tree watch from the sidelines.

The bricks were re-used as mini-retaining walls for the beds of Ribes and Douglas Iris and as a primitive path to the new compost bin.  A row of Pacific Wax Myrtles, Abutilons and Philadelphus will over time help create a new privacy buffer where the ivy once was.  The patch of dirt in the photo is now sprouting lettuces and will over time be surrounded by Chamomile and Strawberry.  The redwood steps draw a line through this L-shaped garden and join these disparate pieces together. 

Airy trellises surround the blank expanse of the house will create green walls of Cecil Brunner roses and Kiwis. 

Now the only thing to do is wait for everything to grow in, although it looks like the garden is already being enjoyed, since I received this photo the other day.

I'm so happy it's in and can't wait to see the progress!  A special thanks to Christian from Misty Morning Gardens, who took my design and carried it out to a "T" and my client, Hannah who guided the design process in wonderful ways I could not have imagined (not to mention baked us cookies while we worked!  Am I lucky or what?!).


  1. How exciting! I still love those redwood pavers, wonderful idea. I hope your client will be willing to share some photos as it fills in, I'd love to see the garden as it matures.

    Do Douglas iris transplant well? We have a lot of it here, and I'd like to try moving some around the gardens, but I'm afraid I'll kill it. Do you think I should wait until after they've bloomed?

  2. Thanks! I'll be following up with regular maintenance, so I'll definitely show it off when it's looking more filled in!
    My hunch on the irises was after the bloom, too but according to Sunset, it's midwinter for mild winter areas. Maybe if they haven't formed flower stalks yet you can swing it?

  3. Good luck with the transformation. I can begin to make out some really nice contours with what you've done.Watching things grow up is pretty exciting, but sometimes I wish the desirable plants would a little more enthusiasm! Hopefully you can keep the evil ivy at bay while everything begins to mature.

  4. Hi James! The ivy will be a continuous battle for sure, but a good fence solution in the meantime. If only the ivy and the new plantings could trade their exuberant growth rates for a while!