Friday, April 5, 2013

Views from the Street

A couple of weeks ago I took a stroll around our neighborhood to see what was going on in nearby gardens.  I posted some pictures, which you can see here.  However, I didn't include any pictures of our own front yard.  Like many of our neighbors' yards, ours is partially hidden behind tall hedges.  In fact, we have hedges behind hedges, which I find a bit odd.

Pathway between 2 hedges running along street (pipes left behind from someone's prior plumbing project)

My guess is that the Ceanothus hedge and dry stack wall shown above pre-date the installation of the hedge of Xylosma congestum that runs along the street.

The house has 2 planting beds beside the walkway to the front door.  I've made a lot of changes to these beds in the 2 years we've been in the house, although the pink Meidiland shrub roses, Agapanthus, Coleonema albus, and Nandina domestica that give the beds their basic structure were in place before we moved in.

Right front planting bed

Left front planting bed

The front door is covered by a wooden pergola.  I've never felt that the glass door and side panels entirely fit this mid-century modern house but we love the light that they let into the interior.

The view from the doorway looking outward provides a different perspective of the yard.  There are a lot of trees on our half-acre lot, including a large Magnolia (no ID, probably Magnolia grandiflora), a Hong Kong Orchid tree (Bauhinia x blakeana), several California pepper trees (Schinus molle), and several strawberry trees (Arbutus 'Marina').

View from walkway looking Southeast

View looking Northwest

From the vantage point of the lawn area on the right of the driveway, you can see the Xylosma hedge running along the street.

There's a peek into the front side yard from a pathway used to move the garbage cans to the street for pick up.

And, to the side of the driveway, a concrete cat, a Christmas gift from my husband many years ago, peeks around the corner.

In addition to my ongoing fiddling with the existing planting beds, there are a lot of other changes I'd like to make to the front of the house, including reducing the size of the the lawn area.  I'm inclined to keep some of that lawn up front, if not in the back, just because I like the rest it provides for the eyes; however, maybe in time I can find a less thirsty grass to replace the weed-ridden lawn we currently have.  Give me 10 to 15 years...


  1. What a fabulous space! I envy your half acre. Is that more or less a standard lot size in your neighborhood? My house came with zero garden space so I had to start everything from scratch. As much work as that was, I imagine inherited gardens have a whole different set of challenges.

    1. The lots here are much larger than the community we came from 15 miles away - we lived in a postage-sized lot there, elbow-to-elbow with our neighbors. Here, lots hover around the 1/2 acre mark, although there are some 1 and 2-acre properties. However, a lot of the land is steeply pitched. We're lucky to have have a good deal of flat ground. While I started my former garden from scratch, I'm trying to work with the bones of what I have here - replacing the established shrubs, hedges and trees would feel like a crime, not to mention require a fortune we don't have.

  2. You have a beautiful garden. Love the planting bed, and I am swooning over the pergola! I love hedges, and that pathway between the two with the stone work looks so very intriguing, mysterious, and romantic.

    1. The pergola wasn't part of the original house constructed in the early 1950s but I think it's a great addition by a prior owner - it certainly played into the curb appeal that pulled us toward the house despite a 100+ degree heat wave underway during our 1st viewing. The double hedge adds a "secret garden" feel to that part of the lot but I have played with the idea of removing the Xylosma to open the stone wall to view from the street. That's unlikely to happen anytime soon in any case...