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overall idea for site:  convert a cemented-over yard into a native garden

description of site: good amount of sun over most of the yard, some old fruit trees on the eastern edge

pluses, solutions to challenges: very enthusiastic DIY-oriented customer, lots of urbanite (broken up concrete).

Salvia, Erigeron, Romneya, Armeria, Penstemon and Eschscholtzia made up most of the garden plan. all photos by Chris Hanzo.

One morning an unexpected e-mail popped up in my inbox with photos. I was blown away. It was from someone I had done a design for a couple years prior, showing how it turned out.

There's not much else for me to say about this project except for bravo! to the client, who took the plan and ran with it. This was an early design of mine, utilizing California natives I knew would be easy to source (though looking closely now, I question the origin of the Festuca and Penstemon).

The bed to the left in the photo above was the smallest, and closest to the shaded side of the yard. To make it stand out, I centered a Salvia apiana, surrounded by Erigeron glaucus. In the back the customer added some non-native plants and a veggie bed, but otherwise adhered to the drawing.

Muhlenbergia rigens and Epilobium cana dominate the early stages of installation.

I had mapped out three progressively longer beds, pointing diagonally from the deck to the farthest corner in the yard, in order to extend the perceived size of the lot. Bulkier plants held down the right side of those beds, to counter the mature fruit trees on the opposite side (not pictured).

I did not keep a copy of the plan, so I can't identify all the plants in photos, except that I am curious how the plants stood up over the years. There are a few rambunctious characters in the mix, and I wonder how that unfolded.

Dean Ouellette 415-820-1623     garden_together@hotmail.com