Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine Residence - Silver Creek Valley in San Jose, California

This unique site is located on the second story balcony of a home in San Jose's Silver Creek Valley neighborhood.  Real Greek and Italian pottery from Eye of the Day Garden Design Center are placed around the deck, loaded with succulents and drought & heat tolerant perennials.  South facing, full sun, and intense heat create the atmosphere.  With patience and careful planning by Taproot Garden Design & Fine Gardening over the last two years, this potted garden now provides year round color and blossoms to every corner of the deck.

In the large Greek Munich Flat pot we planted Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire', Echeveria, and  Lotus berthelotii (Parrot's Beak).
Lotus berthelotii (Parrot's Beak) is in full bloom in this garden from February through April, and then intermittently through November.  Although listed as an annual in some parts of the world, it is an evergreen perennial in San Jose, California.
A colorful mix of succulents, annuals, and perennials bloom at different times during the changing seasons. Jade, Calibrachoa, Verbena, and Sedum share the space.
Helenium autumnale 'Short and Sassy'
Pelargonium (Geranium) 'Elegance Burgundy' in a Greek Koronios Flat pot.
A planting space of 6 inches high and 6 inches wide calls for plants that remain small and narrow.  Agastache, Senecio vitalis 'Blue Chalk Fingers', Lavender 'Little Bee Purple', and Sedum fit that profile.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stewart Family Garden - Palo Alto, California

Strong structural elements and a bold mixture of materials makes this landscape an ideal fit with the existing architecture.  As always, we augment the already forward-looking space with clean, low maintenance, low water & California native plantings very well suited to the urban setting. 

Taproot Garden Design & Fine Gardening worked with Confidence Landscaping in changing this unusable space into a relaxing place to lounge.  Perfect for everyday use, complete with an inviting hammock for casual naps, and plenty of circulation room for large social events or kids birthday parties.

The clean lines and neutral tones of wood and concrete complement the bright evergreen shrubs and trees.
The redwood retaining wall, grey decomposed granite, concrete pavers, and concrete raised planter boxes make a great combination.
Analog pavers are set in stabilized decomposed granite - the main connection to all aspects of the garden.  Circulation is uncomplicated with clear paths in all directions.
Mendocino Reed Grasses (Calamagrostis foliosa) are planted at the base of the Olive tree.  A raised box built around the grandfathered Olive tree doubles as seating for family 'movie nights' in the garden.  
A row of evergreen California native Myrica californica (Pacific Wax Myrtle) will eventually cover the fence entirely with its bright apple green leaves.
Smaller specimen plantings, spaced a few feet apart, allow for extra seating on the retaining wall when the main patio areas are full.
Ipe wood, redwood, and concrete features are found throughout the garden.
Shade is cast upon all seating areas with a combination of evergreen California native Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' trees and a 'Swan Hill' Olive tree.
 This raised wood planter box doubles as seating, while a non-fruiting 'Swan Hill' Olive tree provides shade.
Main stage - The scene where important conversations and s'mores are made. 

The ipe wood deck seamlessly connects with the concrete patio for a smooth transition from one space to the next.
Clean and stable path work helps to keep the eyes on the plants instead of the footfall. 
Tan seed heads of the California native Mendocino Reed Grasses complement the purple wands of 'Munstead' Lavenders.  Lime, Orange, and Lemon trees are happier with bee attracting Lavenders surrounding them.
Square 2' x 2' concrete pavers set in grey decomposed granite, makes for a clean and stable walking surface.
A view of the hammock from the main patio area.
Afternoon naps in the hammock, under the shade of an Olive tree, are induced by wild bird songs.
A decomposed granite path leads from the main garden area to the hammock, which is located far across from the main patio fire pit area.  Solitude can be found here.
Orange Clock Vines (Thunbergia gregorii) grace the fence with bright sherbert orange flowers from spring through fall.