This property in Boulder Creek is a playground for deer. There are other properties nearby but for some reason they love this one. The client wanted to develop the yard so she could relax in the sunshine as the back area is very shady. She also wanted colorful, drought tolerant plants that would attract her beloved hummingbirds and butterflies.
Deer Resistant Garden (after)
A beautiful pergola dominates the garden now and will have a table and chairs come summer to sit and enjoy the garden. The west side of the sitting area can be shaded by rolling down a shade screen so the client can sit outside after she gets home from work. The Three Rivers flagstone path is bordered by Sonoma fieldstone with grasses, rockrose, grevillea, choisya, flax, lamb's ears, achillea and salvia to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
The prior owners of the house were do-it-your-selfers but never quite finished projects. The entry not only had unsafe steps but the shallow planters on each side were quite unusual, to say the least. Also the concrete border for the walkway didn't allow any way to enter the main front yard except to step over it. Clearly, this yard had some "issues".
The existing steps to the front porch were covered with stained concrete making them safe ad beautiful. The walkway was also covered with stamped and stained concrete to match. The concrete walkway border was coated with a contrasting stucco with darker cap. This treatment was also used on the long, unfinished block retaining wall along the driveway.
The client wished to keep costs down in solving the design problems with the site. The shallow "planters" along the front of the house were to remain and somehow, magically become attractive. This picture shows the walkway, unfinished concrete retaining wall as well as the shallow "planters".
To solve the planter dilemma, I designed a modern looking planting scheme on mounded soil and topped off the look with Mexican pebbles. Restios and nandina give the the area an architectural feel. The house was faced with stone veneer to match the other hardscaping. This view shows the stucco treatment of the walls and the newly stained concrete walkway. The driveway was topped with a couple inches of crushed gravel with a dark flagstone found onsite at the base of the steps.
As the plants try to fill in we are still battling Bambi who insists on nibbling plants that are usually never eaten. We have made several substitutions which are making a valiant effort to 'grow forth and prosper'. The wisteria is growing up the pergola nicely and will be even more beautiful as it covers the structure.