Native Plant Tour in Santa Cruz County - The Andrews Garden

I posted recently about the Blair property that was on tour this month, 33 acres of whimsy - and solid restoration work, in the redwoods. A world away and just down the road I visited the Andrews garden, set in an upscale development on a sunny lot. It was designed by the owners' daughter who is a professional landscape designer, and her skill definitely appears in the "bones" of the garden, which show form and structure both in the plants and the hardscape. I hope you enjoy the photos...

I love the lumpy fescue lawn, with a formal path down the center, and low informal edging plants. Sorry I don't have details on the individual plantings.

Fabulous spreading effect of a carex (I think) on the patio above. And below, colorful penstemons and a fruit tree - deer come through the garden so it has to be protected while young.

The shady side yard had attractive plantings too:

Coming around towards the front:

Here is wild ginger and fern - not sure what kind of fern - looks too skinny to be sword fern.

Along the road, a nice decomposed granite path and balanced plantings on either side:

Very nice all around!

Just by way of contrast, here's another garden on the tour that I enjoyed for very different reasons - it's really wild and somewhat unkempt, but I like the idea of wandering in it.

Ah - summer is here for sure!


I like the first garden, but I really actually like the last garden almost a little better. A structured, perfectly planned, native garden doesn't seem quite as, well, 'native' to me. I do realize though that aesthetic isn't for everyone. As we gradually abolish the weeds, looking at how plants naturally grow here, Calochortus or Iris popping up through Monkey Flowers, or Asters growing in the middle of native roses, is just how nature planned most of our garden...that wild and unkempt look is rather growing on me. Nature designed most of the native gardens here, and who am I to argue? ;)
Christine said…
Both look like lovely places to wander for the afternoon!
Town Mouse said…
Wow, those gardens are so interesting! I'm really sorry I wasn't able to go along, next year I want to make it for sure.
James said…
The carex around the fountain is a great effect. Depending on the amount of foot traffic, however, I can see the plants getting a little stomped on. Still I can see how the idea could be used other ways, for instance to let the sedges cascade over a low wall. Nice plantings in both gardens.
Sue Langley said…
This is the kind of post where you skom, look at the photos, read the comments, then read the whole thing agian in detail! Love it.

I like the circle designs or motifs in the first garden. Even in a wild garden, I think you can have some structure, but I'm like most gardeners...I plant as I go and design the same way. I'd like to add some circles to my garden somehow, maybe at an intersection of these paths I'm making. Fun!
Country Mouse said…
I kinda liked 'skom!'
I liked your comments about how you read the post, Sue - I can relate to that pattern too! Thanks for coming by!