The first garden we saw, the smallest of the 3, spanned about two thirds of an acre, which the gardener tends entirely on her own. I think it was the most personal of the 3 gardens we visited. The house and the garden flow into one another.
|Entry-way garden area|
|Terrace overlooking canyon area|
|Japanese maple in courtyard garden|
The second of the 3 gardens was a 2-acre property with a lot of level changes. It was clearly designed for people who like to entertain.
|A steep stairway to the left of the slope leads up to a gazebo, seen in the upper portion of this photo,|
|The slope is bisected by a man-made waterfall|
|Looking down from the upper gazebo, you can see an outdoor kitchen and lounge area along one side of the property|
|Seating to enjoy the view|
|As you come back down through the lounge area, there's a terrace with a pool|
|And a fireplace with more seating|
|And a fountain|
|On the next level, there's a rose garden with a boxwood edging|
|Another view of the rose garden area|
|Below the rose garden, there's another gazebo, this one overlooking a Koi pond, and a one-hole putting green|
"Helpful" signs were posted here and there throughout the property.
|This one was tipped to one side (by an angry coyote?)|
The third garden, encompassing 5 acres, was my favorite: a gardener's garden developed with care over several decades. It was created by the original owners around a house built in the early 1960s within what is now a gated area. A large "hedge" of tall Eucalyptus trees was thinned many years ago to open up the canyon area and lend a more expansive feel to what was already a very large garden. There are pathways leading down into the lower levels of the garden that force the visitor to slow down and appreciate the plants along the way. The paths are cushioned with wood chips and leaf mulch, probably accumulated over decades. Wood handrails, created from trees cut on the property, have been added to make the garden more accessible to both the owners and visitors. In fact, hand-made wood structures can be seen throughout the property.
|Agave 'Blue Glow' surrounded by Teucrium chamaedrys, Westringia and other drought tolerant plants|
|Rustic wood arbor|
|Path down into the lower level of the property|
|View into canyon area|
|Echium in full bloom|
|Drought tolerant shrubs|
|Japanese Maple surrounded by plants favoring shade|
|Dirt path through shaded area lined with Geranium 'Biokovo'|
|Miniature wood house|
|Rustic wood arbor covered by trumpet vine and filled with hand-made stick furniture|
|Planted area between the driveway and the house|
|Small garden outside a guest house|
|Driveway area near the front of the house|
|Garden area behind the house|
|Bed bordering a bocce ball court|
In the groomed planting beds surrounding the house, the gardener appears to have kept her plant palette relatively simple, relying heavily on Hellebores, monkey flowers, rockroses, geraniums, Pelargoniums and roses. (There's a lesson for me there.)
|Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) growing in partial shade?|
|An unusual variegated Pelargonium peltatum, aka Ivy Geranium (I think)|
|Pacific Coast Iris|
|One of a few areas dedicated to succulents|
I'm scheduled to attend an entirely different kind of garden tour this weekend. Stay tuned...