Sunday, April 5, 2009

Making A California Garden, Flowers and Foliage, Design and Planting


Flowers and Foliage

Corokia virgata 'Bronze King'

Cestrum newellii 'Elegans' Below...


A visual diary, recording the making of my California garden....
from the earliest days to the present.
Year One
Images scanned from photos taken as the garden was being planted,
and in the summer that followed.
The garden layout....
working during the drenching El Nino rains of 1999/2000.
Somehow it was possible to deep dig, mixing in large amounts of compost and soil amendment, while removing concrete rubble, and all manner of debris buried in the hardpan soil.
Transplanted from Chicago to California, the move fueled my notion of year-round gardening, and I was unstoppable in my desire to create a new garden from scratch.
Shown at the top: scanned photos of the yard just before we bought the house,
and after I had started clearing the space.


  1. How exciting this must have been! Lovely garden.

    I'm a great fan of Corokia too.

  2. My word- what a transformation. I am impressed with your diligence. As soon as I hit hard pan I would have been out. It looks so very different. I love before and after.

  3. Really interesting - thanks for all the work in posting this.

  4. Now that you've been in the year-round garden climate would you ever go back? It's a lovely "after," and I can see your enthusiasm in taking a banal California garden and making it new. Beautiful work!

  5. Fabulous! You make a mockery of my fave quip regarding CA gardening, which is 'All ya gotta do to get an award winning garden in CA is toss a few seeds in the general direction of the soil.' Clearly that is wrong wrong wrong. You did awesome work and brought about a stunning transformation. Yay you!

  6. You've created a lovely sense of depth with the meandering paths, and islands of plants within the walkways - looks great!

  7. Wow! You can be proud! Beautiful garden Alice!

  8. The Italian Gardens the Melbourne Flower show gardens and now your own. I love them all. Goodness how I envy you travelling to those wonderful places and then coming home to a sanctuary like that. Heaven.