This mostly-CA native garden was installed in November 2012, soon after the owners moved in, so everything is young and small-ish. They'd left a big do-it-yourself garden where they experimented with EVERYTHING and made every mistake. In this smaller space, they wanted a more organized look and easier maintenance with drought-tolerant, wildlife-friendly, flowering and fragrant plants.
They took out the lawns front and back. The yard is dominated by a huge tree (cedar?) with a rope swing that apparently has been part of the neighborhood for years. The tree and swing had to stay!
They enlisted the help of landscape designer Mary Sager McFadden, who developed a plan with just the right combination of continuity and informality. Victor Barrios and his crew at Barrios Maintenance handled installation of plants and irrigation.
One of Mary’s brilliant ideas was to extend the plantings into the parkway. The effect is very pleasing! The result is a combination of foundation shrubs, including toyon and Ray Hartman ceanothus, a stone path, meadow area with California fescue, carex, and a sprinkling of salvia, buckwheat and grasses, and another section with manzanita ground cover. There are two western redbud trees and a desert willow, but they don’t look like much—yet!
The garden includes a few volunteers: sweet peas from who knows where and a mystery vine that was a mystery no more when someone asked if the owners had by any chance carved their pumpkins in that corner of the yard.