Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nataliya and Greg Dixon Garden

Painting by Nadi Spencer

THE MIDDLE FORK of the Kaweah River is the focal point of this garden. As you stroll alongside it you will hear the sounds of birds, frogs and the current while being cooled by the constant breezes that move through the native Willows and Sycamores that thrive along the riverbank.

THE MAIN part of this garden was planted only 5 years ago, and the lower lawn was planted just last year. The Dixons' cousin, from Treats Landscaping, in Claremont, CA, designed the site, while the Dixons did the planting.

THE DIXONS have used a mix of natives and non-natives to provide year-round color. The Rose garden is a favorite of Nataliya's.  Day Lilies, Cyclamen and Coral Bells catch the eye while walking the path to the "Grandparents' House".  The home is set off by Roses, Camelias, Fringe Flowers, and Evergreen Magnolias. Privacy screening is created by Hopseed Bushes, Photinia, Alders, and large Pride of Madeiras. Pines, a small grove of Coast Redwoods, and a Smoke Tree also screen the property.

HEIGHT in the front garden is provided by several Smoke Trees, a Saucer Magnolia, and Crepe Myrtles. to the right of the front door are showy Weeping junipers, their gray foliage a nice contrast to other plants. Sago Palms are spotted throughout the planting island.

A TIERED lawn sweeps dramatically down to the river. The upper lawn area is planted in Fescue, while the unmown hillside is Creeping Red Fescue. Beyond the hillside is stunningly beautiful Perennial Ryegrass turf. ycamores, Livve Oaks, and Valley Oaks frame this serene setting.

Food Fare: The Village Market
Artist Painting on Site: Sharon Banister
Artists: George Smith, Pam Lockhart
Art of Garden: Nadi Spencer 

Ted and Terri Hiltel Garden

Portrait of Terri by Nadi Spencer

THIS WELL-ESTABLISHED garden, designed by the Hiltels, has grown in increments since the house was built in 1979. The river-front property is known for its mature, multi-trunked Oak trees. two mature monterey Pines, one planted after its tenure as the family's Christmas tree, provide contrast to the Oaks.

ENJOY the Azaleas and a mature native Ginger at the front door. Terri's fondness for hydrangeas, Camelias, and ferns is obvious on the front porch. Two large Lilacs flank the entryway. This locale affords excellent views of the South Fork of the Kaweah River and, as you cross the deck, a spectacular scene of a waterfall above the family swimming hole emerges.

TERRI refers to her garden as a "Renegade Garden" because the plants tend to do their own thing. Santolina, Rosemary,Forsythia and Crepe Myrtle run wild in front of the greenhouse, which is open for viewing. Walking along the driveway to the left of the house you will find White Rock Roses, Butterfly Bushes, Willows, Dogwood trees

THE HILTELS previously owned an antique store, so some favorite treasures are tucked into the gardens, and rivers rocks and boulders have been incorporated into the design. Except for the moving of the largest boulders, all the rock-work was done by Ted. And look for the charming fire pit surrounded by Raywood Ash, Butterfly Busheds and French lavender.

Food Fare: Sierra Subs and Salads
Artist Painting on Site: Nadi Spencer
Music: COS Cello Ensemble

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kathleen McCleary Garden

KATHLEEN purchased her property in 1999. The house she built replaced the one destroyed by fire. In the 12940s the previous owner removed the top of a hill to make a flat home site, so today Kathleen's garden rests on hardpan rather than topsoil, which created challenging conditions.

THREE RIVERS architect Gary Cort planned for a garden that would be entered through the house. guests on the Garden Tour will have the advantage of seeing it this way, and will be able to view photos taken before and during construction.

THE GOALS for kathleen's garden are low maintenance, low water, and to cover bare dirt without mulching. She has a great love of wildlife and lives with the gophers, deer and other animals that prey on local landscaping. Her garden consists of native plants, which provide a natural habitat for wildlife. All water is provided via a 120-year-old ditch.

REPURPOSING is seen throughout the garden. Rock walls, stone walks, rustic fences are all made from original material found on the property. The folk art fence now serves as a bird-feeder. A circular stone sitting area was built by Mike Brinkley using river rock. The plants surrounding it include California Wild Rose, Texas Ranger, Mexican Feather Grass, Chinese Pistache, and various sages.

RIMMING the back garden are Deodar Cedars, California Buckeyes, Bay Laurel, and Crepe Myrtle. Stroll beneath them on the trail leading to the historic Kaweah Post Office that is also owned by Kathleen.

SEE Desert Willow, Abelias, Japanese Maples, Azaleas, Lilacs, and Sycamore as you meander. Enhancing the purple-themed patio are Vinca, lavender, , purple chair and umbrella. And don't miss the pond complete with Cattails, Juncus, Bamboo and Duck Weed. You are invited to ramble through the countryside; her property encompasses 32 acres of Oak forest, Manzanita, and Native Iris.

Food Fare:
Artist Painting on Site: Miriam Briks
Art of Garden: Nadi Spencer
Music: Kevin Yee