Sunday, April 3, 2016

Shank Residence Front Yard - Almaden, San Jose, CA

Note: Click Photos to see high-detail large format images.
Review our labels and tags to see identified plants & materials.

High-IQ landscape features dynamic usage of a wide variety of California native plants, permeable surfaces, organic materials, warm & inviting redwood raised boxes, meandering decomposed granite pathways all placed in a permanently all-organic, drought tolerant, family-safe setting making this landscape a joy to view.

Below, we will take you on a trip backward through the development of this front-yard landscape project. First pictures are most recent - just after a fresh hand-weeding (wink!), and trail backwards through time all the way down to the original tired looking lawn at the end. We hope that you enjoy this lilting tour through this very special drought tolerant, all organic planned landscape. Please be sure to Visit The Back Yard!  when you are done to see more beautiful, water-wise landscape planning using California Native plants.

July 2016:  Epilobium 'Everett's Choice' (California Fuchsia)

July 2016:  Calamagrostis foliosa (Mendocino Reed Grass) en masse.
A beautiful specimen from Native Sons Nursery in Southern California, this young Arctostaphylos 'Dr. Hurd' Manzanita is vibrant and healthy with its bright green leaves and peeling burgundy bark.
April 2016:  In this photo are Eriogonum umbellatum polyanthum 'Shasta Sulfur' Buckwheat, Penstemon heterophyllus 'Blue Springs' (Foothill Penstemon), Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage), and Salvia sonomensis ‘Mrs. Beard’ (Mrs. Beard Creeping Sage).
April 2016:  Mimulus (top) and Zauschneria (bottom)
April 2016:  California Native Mimulus aurantiacus
April 2016:  The orange flowers of this Mimulus aurantiacus (Monkey flower) blend with the striations of orange in the rock. Also in this photo are Penstemon heterophyllus 'Blue Springs' (Foothill Penstemon) and Salvia clevelandii (Cleveland Sage).
April 2016:   In this photo are Eriogonum umbellatum polyanthum 'Shasta Sulfur' Buckwheat, Penstemon heterophyllus 'Blue Springs' (Foothill Penstemon), Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage), Salvia sonomensis ‘Mrs. Beard’ (Mrs. Beard Creeping Sage), and Calamagrostis foliosa (Mendocino Reed Grass).
April 2016:  A mix of California Native plants, fruit trees, and ornamental trees, establishing quickly after the winter rains.
April 2016
April 2016:  Blueberries, strawberries, pomegranate, peach, and lemon trees share the space with California native plants. Bees, butterflies, and birds frequent the garden and a healthy pollination of all flowers occurs naturally.
April 2016:   The delicate structure and silver leaves of this California Buckwheat makes this perennial a unique gem in the garden.
April 2016:  Salvia spathacea (Hummingbird Sage) smells like bubble gum, feeds the hummingbirds, and spreads quickly by underground rhizomes. Grows best and is happiest in part sun/afternoon shade conditions.
April 2016: Eriogonum umbellatum polyanthum 'Shasta Sulfur' (Sulfur Buckwheat) and Penstemon heterophyllus 'Blue Springs' (Foothill Penstemon) are just a couple of the plants that line the front of the short fence.
April 2016: Among the hummingbird favorites in this garden are Mimulus aurantiacus (shown here), Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn' (Howard McMinn Manzanita), Penstemon heterophyllus 'Blue Springs' (Foothill Penstemon), Salvia clevelandii ‘Celestial Blue’ (Cleveland Sage), Salvia sonomensis ‘Mrs. Beard’ (Mrs. Beard Creeping Sage), Galvezia speciosa ‘Firecracker’ (Bush Island Snapdragon), Epilobium (aka Zaushneria) cannum 'Everett's Choice' (California Fuchsia).
April 2016:  Six months later...
October 2015
October 2015
October 2015: Redwood, decomposed granite, Connecticut Bluestone Full Range pavers, and Sonoma Fieldstone boulders are materials that blend beautifully with the California environment.
October 2015: Decomposed granite pathway with gold fines.
October 2015: A pathway of Connecticut Bluestone Full Range pavers leads to a decomposed granite patio with redwood raised boxes.
October 2015: Redwood raised boxes will be filled with fruit-bearing plants and fragrant herbs. Edible plantings in this garden include Meyer Lemon, Mexican Key Lime, Peach, and Pomegranate.
October 2015: Redwood raised boxes on decomposed granite patio.
October 2015: Redwood raised boxes partially enclose the decomposed granite patio where direct views from the street are obscured. This front garden patio is an inviting place to chat with neighbors.
October 2015: New materials seemlessly blend with old materials in this garden. The original concrete walkway, with aggregate on one side, was retained; the colors of the aggregate perfectly match the pavers, decomposed granite, mulch, and redwood.
October 2015: Connecticut Bluestone Full Range Pavers
May 2015:  Old, tired, useless lawn.

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