Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


El Cerrito Front Yard

This is another one of our nearby gardens that I photographed this spring. It’s on a similar time frame as the garden with the Magnolia tree; the planting is now in its third year and somewhat filled in, with the manzanitas starting to catch up to the faster plants like the Verbena lilacina and so forth. The plants are about half native, all from the more commonly planted species.

After doing the grading and stonework, we weed-wacked everything and left the soil covered for six months to try and control the weeds. We also sheet mulched a second time when we put in the plants. It worked well against the annual weeds, but gophers made so many mounds everywhere, that the newspaper got kind of messy and wasn’t a very effective barrier against the oxalis. These days almost every planting we do needs to be gopher and vole resistant. I might do a post about it at some point, but whenever I think I have the gophers figured out, they do something to prove me wrong.

We planted five redbuds to go with the existing Chinese Elm. Two are established, but three still need staking from the wind, and overall they aren’t yet big enough to really carry a wide angle photo that would match the perspective drawing from the design.

The stone is called Elk Mountain Tumbled Sandstone. I used it for another little wall about a year before this one. The stoneyard sells it as a paving stone, but it works well for a long, low wall like this where you need a high percentage of capstones. The gravel path is on top of an existing french drain that runs along one side of the house.

Some plant photos are below.

I came too late to photograph the path with the Ribes, Heuchera maxima, and Douglas Iris in bloom on either side of it, but the monkey flowers were looking pretty sweet instead. This is the Mimulus bifidus ‘White’ that Annie’s Annuals grows.

The Abutilon and the Arbutus still look a little young in the photos. The abutilon was a request and isn’t something I plant very often, but I really like how it looks with the wainscoting and the heuchera. It’s been blooming almost every time I’ve passed by the garden.

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4 Responses to “El Cerrito Front Yard”

  1. July 11th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Scott Weber says:

    Love this garden…the plants work so very well together…and I’m so jealous of those stone walls…oh to have a bigger budget for my garden! LOVE Verbena lilacina…I need to try it again in the parking strips, as the soil in the rest of the garden is just to heavy (and wet in winter) for it.

  2. July 11th, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    ryan says:

    Thanks, Scott. The garden and the house have somewhat of a similar color scheme to your garden or at least my impression of your garden and the photos on your blog. And I know what you mean about the stone budget. Stone is so nice and so not cheap…

  3. July 13th, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Lynne says:

    Gorgeous! Love your choices! Great work.

  4. July 14th, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Gayle Madwin says:

    Quite a transformation! It looks fantastic.

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