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

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