When the owner, a landscaper (Tanglevine) moved in eight years ago, the front yard was just a 1000 square foot grass hillside. Today it is an eclectic mix low water, bee and insect friendly flowers and shrubs evocative of the colorful gardens in Venice and Santa Barbara that the owner loves.
Rather than trying to achieve a particular ‘style,’ the owner wanted a free-form mixture of plants. The result is a garden in which aloes live happily next to lavender, roses, fruit trees and agaves—a living tapestry has evolved and changed over the years. It reflects the owner’s instincts for mixing colors and textures.
Beginning the garden makeover, the owner decided to invest in a two-person crew to remove all the sod as well as a roll off bin and lots of soil amendments. It was well worth the money. The crew dug 2-3 three inches off the top to remove all the roots, and the amended soil has been fertile and healthy ever since.
Once the soil was prepared, the fun part began: picking plants. The owner’s choices include pencil cactus, Echium, oak leaf hydrangea, a Japanese maple, stipa grass and many varieties of lavender. These plants have thrived over the years. A rose garden in the center of the yard offers a profusion of orange and peach blooms. The owner plants two wine barrels near the curb with a rotating display of seasonal color—currently anemones.
Hummingbirds, bees and spiders visit the garden daily. Occasionally the owner catches a glimpse of a lizard, grasshopper or dragonfly.
The garden has taught the owner a lot about patience and trial and error. It’s a process that can’t be rushed, but one that is extremely rewarding!