Eastside Garden Story

Eastside Plant Lover's Garden

An avid gardener, Bob discovered Earthworks Garden Design after seeing our grasslands at Seaside Gardens Nursery. Bob was interested in using every possible inch of his garden including the narrow strip behind his garage/guest room - a space often used as a utility area if at all. This area was particularly problematic during the winter months when rain water accumulated and made the passage from the guest room to the outdoor shower up on the next level unpleasant. There were drainage issues along the side wall of the garage as well. Adding a French drain prevented damaging flooding, but we decided to also use the water theme as an advantage, creating a “dry creek bed” using large boulders, gravel and various size cobbles. For most of the year it acts as a path, but catches and channels runoff into a small pool during heavy rains. We planted the sides with striped Porcupine grass, feathery Fountain grass and Leymus “Canyon Prince” against a back drop of a large New Zealand Flax and a Pomegranate tree. The red blooming Distictis draping over the fence is “borrowed” from the neighbor’s garden and carries on the spark of red when the Pomegranate finishes blooming.

After finishing this project Bob was ready to have Earthworks tackle the rest of his garden which was badly in need of a facelift. His property is a partially terraced slope that separates the house from the garage. Altering the topography by adding a berm gave the slope a more interesting shape around which we curved the flagstone pathways. Two existing patios, one off the back steps and one at the bottom of the hill by the garage/guest room, did not take full advantage of the garden. To expand the way one experiences the relatively small garden and invite you into it, we installed a small flagstone patio on top of the sunny berm just large enough to place a couple of Adirondack chairs and a small table. A perfect spot to stop and take in the view.

Closer to the deck of the main house, a spa is tucked into a shady corner under a Chinese elm. We surrounded it with a lush tropical planting to create a tranquil and intimate space to enjoy a soak.

Bob is a plant enthusiast and very involved in the design and care of his garden. It was important to him to have something to look forward to with each season and plants were chosen in part for their seasonal interest. This garden evolved over time and the goal was to accommodate his love of plants while maintaining a cohesion and flow between spaces which ranged from deep shade to bright south facing exposure. The result is an exuberant, detailed, lush, plant lover’s garden.

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