3749 Redwood Avenue - Cluster 5

Click here for audio description of this garden.

This garden was installed in 2009 following a major remodel of the garage. The small garage was replaced with a 4 car dream garage with office/family room above. Check out the view from the balcony, you can see the Getty and quiet surrounding Mar Vista neighborhood. 

All the existing mature trees on the property were kept and protected during the construction. The front yard has a Trumpet tree (Tabebuia) which should be in full flower for the tour. The four mature Australian Paperbark (Melulaca’s) provided the impetus for the other plants in the garden to be primarily of Australian origin. A few native California species with the same low water requirement were added for color and habitat for our native birds and insects.

The swing bench is the perfect place to meet the neighbors on a hot afternoon. The old front garden had a small patch of turf which was removed and the area was re-contoured and elevated into a berm to improve drainage for some of the Protea’s and other plants wanting fast drainage. Check out the flower on the Australian vine on the arbor in front, it’s an usual Black Kennedia or Black Coral Pea (Kennedia nigracans). Some of the unusual Australian plants in the garden were specimens from the Australia Native Plant nursery in Ventura/Ojai.

The garden is only 2 doors away from a Mark Twain Middle school so there is lots of traffic in the area in the morning and afternoon on school days. Once the plants mature on the berm it will provide some separation and a sense of privacy from the sidewalk traffic. The recycled broken concrete pavers and stacked concrete used in the outer front patio area and garden wall came from the old garage floor. The open joints between the pavers have a combination of dymondia, thyme and herniaria ground covers, drip tubing is below ground to provide irrigations water until these plantings are mature. 

The parkway has two mature Gold Medallion Trees (Cassia leptophylla). The turf was removed and Dymondia and small New Zealand Flax were use. Stepping stones were placed for folks to have access to their parked cars. 

The front south side has an edible section. This is the best full sun spot on the property. Two espaliered apple trees (low chill varieties; Anna and Fuji) stand at the house, with two Blue Berry bushes, and raised beds for salad veggies are planned in the remaining inches of space. 

The back garden’s raised wood deck was protected during construction and repaired and painted at the end of construction to match the new color scheme of the garage and house. The mature Birch trees where kept, but these trees need more water that the other plants that were planned for the garden so a fountain was installed at their feet providing a little extra slash for the trees to drink. 

The homeowner’s collection of orchids will be out on display during the tour.  The greenhouse was built by the homeowner to fit tightly under a mature Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum petersonii) and over the sump pump area for the property to house the orchid collection.

The Bouquet Canyon stone patio and planter incorporates a built in gas fire pit with a small seating area. The open joints in the patio’s construction allow rain water to be infiltration into the soil reducing the runoff into the street. The back garden plants are a combination of plant from California, European and Australian origin.  

The garden is watered with the latest smart irrigation technologies (ET Water Irrigation Controller) and all subsurface drip irrigation. No herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers are used in the ongoing maintenance of this garden. The soil fertility is being improved with the use of mulch, compost, worm casting and compost teas.

The garden was designed by Marilee Kuhlmann of Comfort Zones Garden Design and installed by Clark and White Landscapes. The landscape masonry was done by Macon Inc. A plant list for the garden will be available at the tour.