Tuesday, October 7, 2014

811, know what’s below - call before you dig


You’re wondering what the heck is up with that title right? Well when I stumbled upon this amazing garden full of cactus and succulents I couldn’t help but notice the address was 811 and that got the “811/call before you dig” slogan in my head. Hopefully this gardener will never have to “know what’s below,” I’d hate to disturb such a dense tapestry of beautiful plants…

Obviously this garden is not in Portland, I discovered it one of my walks around Berkeley (technically Albany), California. When on vacation I love exploring neighborhoods and seeing how people there garden.

The view on the opposite side of the driveway.

The hellstrip...

Close-ups of the front garden...

Isn't the house color the perfect background for that milky green euphorbia?

Another hellstrip section.

That's one water-stressed aloe.

Things look a little better off (water-wise) next to the house. Is this not just beautiful? I feared at some point during this vacation my eyes were going to explode from seeing so many beautiful things. This garden was definitely a happy find.

Those colors are positively dreamy!

I wanted to walk up to the gate and peek in, but I did not.

To the left of the sidewalk above...

And a neighbors "garden" as a reality check, just so you know the whole street wasn't so lushly planted...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

44 comments:

  1. Wow, that's CRAZY, Loree! What a place. I wonder what the neighbors think...I love it!

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    1. The neighbors gardens all mostly fell in between these two, just your average plantings, nothing too extreme. But how could they not appreciate that riot of plants?

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  2. Definitely an outlier on the spectrum of aesthetic to maintenance ratio...

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  3. Ah, my old stomping grounds and the source of many-a-succulent in my garden here in Portland. Both houses represent the trend of no-water gardens, eh?

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    1. Indeed, one quite lovely and the other...

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  4. The contrast between the first house and the second is STARK. I love the first garden as much as I hate the rock pattern in front of the second. Yuck.

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    1. Stark is the perfect descriptor.

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  5. The first garden is proof positive that there's always room for another succulent. The second - well, it's not really a garden, is it? I wonder if the homeowner intended it as commentary? I'm also curious about what the backyards of each look like.

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    1. It would be interesting to talk to both owners wouldn't it? I have a feeling the second was going for a statement piece with no maintenance. At least they're seeing their vision through!

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  6. What a fabulous California garden! That tapestry of colors just from succulent leaves is marvelous.

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  7. Now there is a study in contrasts! The first one is so charming and you know the gardener is a fun person with a great laugh and a heart of gold. The second one is a WWTT?--owned by a stoic, no nonsense minimalist that you would avoid at all costs.

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    1. A great laugh, I love that you included that Grace!

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  8. What a beautiful garden! The shapes and colors are indeed dreamy! Lava rock lives.

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  9. Love the first garden with all the variety of plants it almost looks like an undersea wonderland.

    The neighbors must enjoy raking rocks.

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    1. Strange isn't it, that low water plants remind us of something found under the water?

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  10. geez, looks like a scene under the ocean! So gorgeous.

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    1. If only we could replicate it here, right?

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  11. What a fab xeric garden!

    I bet you were itching to see what the back garden was like.

    Obviously that neighbourhood did not have many in the way of neds (non-educated delinquents) to go around and spoil things.

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    1. "neds"....omg! Did you make that up? I love it, and will be using it.

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    2. It's a genuine acronym Loree, I must admit that I had never heard of it until I moved to Scotland though.

      So, have you been able to use it yet?

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  12. A happy find, indeed! And I'm surprised at how much I like the house color. It was a phase I went through and have hated ever since. Context would seem to be everything. Or maybe I'm just getting over myself.

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    1. The house color is just perfect for the style of home and the tile roof. I don't think I would love it as much on a regular old Portland war box.

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  13. Absolutely amazing! Oh to grow succulents permanently outside like that! Before you mentioned that this was in Berkeley, California I was thinking that if this were in Portland surely the owners dig it all up before winter sets in. The colours and combination of plants looks wonderful.

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    1. I bet this is the kind of garden where they do a once a week trim back and leave the riches on the curb for people to take (or list them on craigslist) what a way to garden!

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  14. Vastly better than a half-dead lawn. The argyle gravel, well...

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  15. Amazing garden, just transport the whole thing into mine please.

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  16. Ohh it's beautiful!! it's like a dream for succulent lovers, foliage lovers and color lovers. I hate the other garden. If you want rocks at least choose interesting and varied rocks.

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    1. I do love how both owners are living their vision, even if the second is a little flat.

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  17. Wow, great place! The textures, colors, and sizes of those succulents make me want to visit Berkeley to see it for myself. I wonder of the neighbors have something more in mind and are just starting with the rocks? Perhaps not, but I wonder...

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    1. I appreciate your giving them the benefit of the doubt, this one looks like it's been in place awhile though.

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  18. Stunning! A stark contrast to the neighbour's... I wonder if those coloured triangles are used for anything? Not like you can easily park on them...

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  19. sandy lawrenceOctober 08, 2014

    I'm amazed when people do total gravel yards. Those are seen in TX too. Adds more heat in the home and surroundings and hard to maintain, too. In August, I always expect to pass by one of those and find the occupant splayed out across the rocks, having been overcome by the heat waves, trying to get to door from drive. The succulent garden is divine and that house/house color is perfect.

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    1. Oh yes in Texas that would be a baking nightmare! Not such a big issue in the Bay though.

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  20. I don't know where to start on this garden - that's quite the find. It shows how much one can work with various xeric plants to rival the colors of any fall foliage or flower display. The 3rd shot showing it all really is amazing...bold.

    The neighbor - if it weren't for the sky, I thought you were in El Paso but never told me!

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    1. Ha! The sky does provide a clue doesn't it? At least to where I was not.

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  21. Do you remember what street this was on? I'd love to visit in person. Ib love these sorts of gardens.

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    1. I don't but I was visiting Flowerland and parked across the street, then walked up and down a couple of blocks. Enjoy!

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    2. Okay cool, I know that neighborhood. Thanks!

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