Preview of Garden 2, Tour 2016 Owners: Kurt and Carol
When the Owners moved into their new home in 1998, there were only a handful of houses in the West Hills. The process of sculpting the terrain and creating a landscape that embraced and enhanced the natural setting began then.
Encompassing two lots, the complexity of what has been achieved is deceiving at first glance. The house sits on a 9400 square foot lot; the lot behind/below covers 9200 square feet. The front yard and side yards at street level are handsomely manicured and planted with an array of trees, shrubs, and annuals. You get a tease of what awaits you when you recognize the artistry involved in designing beds, strategically locating evergreens, accent rocks, a dry creek bed and annuals.
Behind the house the land slopes dramatically to the street below; every square foot of the hillside is accessible and has been tamed—never at the expense of compromising the view or disrespecting the land.
Deer represent a challenge but the only evidence of inhibiting their foraging is the almost invisible fence that encloses a relatively small portion of the garden. The Owners tell a story of planting flowers on one side of the driveway while behind them the deer were snacking on the flowers just planted on the driveway’s other side. A philosophy exists that recognizes that deer have a prior claim to the land and deserve tolerance.
There is an abundance of trees in varying shapes and sizes—several kinds of Japanese maples, viburnum, dogwoods, mountain hemlocks and an Asian pear. The evergreens are diverse in type and size and shape. One of Kurt’s favorite annual routines is visiting Lowe’s at the end of the growing season; he seeks out the most expensive trees now forlorn and reduced to pennies on the dollar; he welcomes the challenge of rehabilitating them. Carol just wants to know where there’s space to plant them.
Over 500 annuals are planted yearly and with perennials add color. There is a vegetable garden for tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lettuce and carrots. There are well-maintained contoured areas of lawn and an expanse of grass on the lower slope is reminiscent of a meadow.
With this garden you easily recognize the Owners’ pursuit of beauty and tranquility while always remaining respectful of the environment. There are subtle additions of garden art but in reality the entire garden is a masterpiece!
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