Plant Lover’s Garden
(This is a 2017 garden description. Gardens for this year’s tour can be found here.)
Four years ago, the house and garden at this location were demolished to make way for a more contemporary and accessible house. The former garden—on the tour in 1999—was a thirsty, high-maintenance English cottage garden. The new garden, like the new house, focuses on sustainability, ease of care and accessibility.
Visitors to the garden are greeted by the sunny leaves of a golden locust. Near the street at the corners of the garden are two magnolias, stellata and saucer, both original to the old house. The ramp on the south side is bordered by silver-foliaged plants, including lavender, sedum and nepeta. Look for the ‘Orange Dream’ Japanese maple, hidden in surrounding foliage to protect it from the sun.
On the side of the house is the bright lime ‘Wilma Goldcrest’ Monterey cypress. Beyond the bigleaf Chinese hydrangea begins the shade garden with ‘Katsura’ Japanese maple and Korean stewartia.
Drought-tolerant plants along the south side include lavender, mugo pine, potentilla, purple rock rose, and ’Hot Lips’ salvia. The white pine near the back corner with the twisted, soft needles is a Pinus strobus ‘Mini Twists’. The low-growing shrub with tiny, greyish-green leaves is a ‘Quicksilver’ hebe, and behind the Japanese blood grass is Uncinia rubra ‘Belinda’s Find’.
Atop a 1,000-gallon underground cistern, used to collect run-off for irrigation, are more drought-tolerant plants: Senecio greyii, corokia, Cape Restio, and the bright Cuphea micropetela ‘Candy Corn Plant’. Left of the stairs is Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’. The front area, once a post-construction mud pit but now with new topsoil and compost, hosts lovely plants like Cornus alba ‘Aurea', red twig dogwood and the foxtail lily by the front door.