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Show #42/3803
Two Fantastic Gardens And Gardeners


Summary of Show

Lake Tahoe Information
Eric meets Emily. Emily is not only a gardening enthusiast but also the president of the local gardening club and provides some information about the area. Lake Tahoe is the 2nd deepest lake in the country, behind Oregon's Crater lake. It's 1,645 feet deep, 22 miles long, 12 miles across and it has 72 miles of shoreline. 2/3 is in California, 1/3 is in Nevada. The Lake is known for its clarity and deep blue color. In the summer it gets up to about 68 degrees but below 700 feet it stays a constant 39 degrees. There are a lot of ski resorts in the area and at Lake level they average 125 inches of snow each year. In the surrounding mountains they average 300 to 500 inches of snow.

Click here for more info

Barbara's Street Garden
There is a lot in bloom everywhere in the yard but they START THE TOUR AT THE STREET. 2 years ago this was nothing but grass. One day Barbara decided she didn't like the looks of the area and wanted to plant some flowers. She had someone come in with a backhoe and rip up all the grass and away it went. She ordered the rocks, built the walkways and in the process found an unwanted big rock down the street at a corner lot where someone was doing some yard work. She had just the spot, so here it sits. And that was when the fun stuff started. She had no plan but went out to buy some plants. She brought the plants home and started finding a place for them. She especially loves white and lavender Cosmos because they come back every year and she never knows where they'll pop up. Generally she leaves them and they have blended in beautifully. She also likes Echinacea and Veronica, both have been very showy. The Obedient plants she dug up from the lower garden and brought a few here. They have continued to expand.

Click here for more info

Great Design Principles
Eric feels that though Barbara calls this an accidental garden it inadvertently EXHIBITS A NUMBER OF GREAT DESIGN PRINCIPLES. For example, the use of the Cosmos and the Obedient plant exhibit the use of a great design principal - a light plant going into a dark border. This garden is right on the edge of the street, yet it has a nice sense of intimacy because the garden border provides a sense of enclosure, of warmth. The way Barbara has used the Veronica to border the pathway is inviting. It basically lures one into the garden. She has created very nice focal points with the Salvia and Echinacea in the back, the nice tall vertical plants draw ones eye into those sections of the garden. And, her use of three's to anchor the garden is spot on. The ornamental grasses exhibit that design principal perfectly. Barbara doesn't know why she always buys plants in threes but usually does.

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The Back Yard
THEY NEXT GO TO THE BACK YARD. Eric comments that Barbara must have never met a plant she doesn't like. It's not true. She does love most plants but does not care for plants that send out runners and then pop up at different places. She likes a plant that stays where she puts it. Eric notices a lot of plant diversity, there is a lot in bloom at one time, a lot of different plants. The roses really stand out and they're doing well. She tried the Tea Rose, the high ones and the big ones but found the Carpet Roses are the only rose that survives here.

Click here for more info

Different Plants
THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENT PLANTS IN THIS GARDEN, as well. Liatris spicata provides a nice vertical accent, the Larkspur also looks fantastic. Barbara just can't resist buying plants with flowers, especially colorful flowers. She will buy a plant, then find a spot for it. She likes color when possible, since they do have a relatively short growing season. Eric notices some beautiful Astilbes and Hollyhocks. Both offer great splashes of color. This garden has been blessed with beautiful, large Conifers, some Arborvitae and Jack Pines.

Click here for more info

Stonework and Hardscapes
In contrast to looking up, when looking down there are WONDERFUL ROCK PATHWAYS WITH GREAT STONEWORK and hardscapes. A lot of work went into this. Barbara admits it has taken a lot of years but it's been done a little every summer and each summer she goes a little further. Often times one of the challenges gardeners face is working pavers, rocks and boulders into a garden and achieving a natural look. Barbara has done a good job of that. Eric likes the way she has used the Irish Moss and Creeping Thyme between the pavers. It provides a very natural look, it looks like the floor of a woodland garden. Another advantage to using these plants in this setting is that it fills in all the crevices and keeps the weed pressure down.

Click here for more info

Catherine's - Terraces
Catherine has addressed these problems very well, SHE HAS PLUGGED IN TERRACES THROUGHOUT, utilized wooden terraces and rock terraces. They're a wonderful way to hold topsoil and control erosion. The fact she's been able to build some nice topsoil behind those terraces is evidenced by healthy plants. This helps keep nutrient leaching from making it into the lake because she has more organic material to trap those nutrients and make it available to the plants. And it makes a magical effect seeing plants popping up from behind rocks, around little nooks and crannies, and then spilling over the terraces. Wonderful effects.

Click here for more info

White Garden
Eric has noticed that Catherine must have a great affinity for the color white. It's true, she loves white. So THEY LOOK AT CATHERINE'S WHITE GARDEN. Eric likes monochromatic sections of gardens. They're special to him. Many shy away from a monochromatic garden because they either feel like they're too bold or too boring. Neither is true. One great thing about this white garden is that because all the flowers are the same color, what one gets is a great sense of the different colors and textures in the leaves, in the different patterns in the garden. This garden highlights those aspects of the plants that oftentimes are ignored because we're paying attention to the blooms. Catherine has some beautiful bloomers and tells about some of her favorites. Of course, she loves the Butterfly Bush, the Daisies are great and her roses when in bloom are a thing of amazing beauty.

Click here for more info

Clematis Claire de lune
One of Eric's favorites and one that's in bloom is the CLEMATIS CLAIRE DE LUNE. It's a fantastic vine. This plant comes from quite a lineage and a wonderful Clematis program on the Isle of Guernsey, which is just a ferry ride from England. There are some great aristocratic genes behind this plant. To create a nice cool white flower like this is no small challenge from a breeding standpoint. On the tips of the flower, each petal has a little bit of lavender, which is quite nice. Obviously there's some purple heritage in this flower as well as some creamy buttery hues and that's what makes up the wonderful genetics behind this plant. It's in full bloom right now, this will be the last bloom for a while but hopefully there will be more later in the season. The Clematis is not only wonderful from an ornamental standpoint but each plant has little balls and every one of the little balls has hundreds of little seeds in them. One of Eric's favorite things as a gardener is to collect seeds, then plant those out. It gives one a chance to look at an array of different genetics behind these plants. To save the seeds, towards the end of the season let the balls dry out, when they're a good straw color, pull the ball apart and there will be hundreds of little seeds inside. In this part of the country one may want to put the seeds into a zip lock bag and store them until spring, so when it gets warm enough for things to start germinating naturally outside you can plant them into nice rich soil or if you want start them indoors.

Click here for more info

Perennial Garden
Catherine's PERENNIAL GARDEN is nice and compact. Because of its position on the hill and the way light travels the sun perennials and shade perennials meld into each other very quickly. Thus we see a lot of sun perennials and shade perennials in a very compact space. Catherine likes the Daisies and they have never been planted here, they just volunteer. The Daisies obviously like it here and the more they volunteer, the happier she is. She, too, likes the Lavender and again she has roses. Too many roses but she's a hopeless romantic. The Coreopsis or Tickseed is very nice. Potentilla is a plant that we see a lot in these areas and tends to thrive in places with poor soil. It's a great Alpine plant.

Click here for more info

 

LINKS:

Plant List

Resort at Squaw Creek

Lake of the Sky Garden Club


Complete transcript of the show.

42/3803.
Lake Tahoe is known for its recreation and its resorts but it also has beautiful gardens. In this Episode GardenSMART visits two fantastic private gardens, both provide gardening lessons galore.

Eric meets Emily. Emily is not only a gardening enthusiast but also the president of the local gardening club and provides some information about the area. Lake Tahoe is the 2nd deepest lake in the country, behind Oregon's Crater lake. It's 1,645 feet deep, 22 miles long, 12 miles across and it has 72 miles of shoreline. 2/3 is in California, 1/3 is in Nevada. The Lake is known for its clarity and deep blue color. In the summer it gets up to about 68 degrees but below 700 feet it stays a constant 39 degrees. There are a lot of ski resorts in the area and at Lake level they average 125 inches of snow each year. In the surrounding mountains they average 300 to 500 inches of snow.

There are beautiful gardens in the area but gardening presents many challenges. For example, the area has rocky soil, high elevation, they need to keep the lake pristine so that limits their use of chemicals and they have a lot of critters - animals like chipmunks, bunnies, moles, voles, gophers, squirrels, even black bears and the black bears like to eat anything with fruit or berries. Plus they have a relatively short growing season. The rule of thumb is, if you plant before Father's Day you're taking a chance because they've had a lot of major snow storms on Memorial Day weekend. And as well hail is a possibility throughout the summer.

Emily is President of the Lake of the Sky Garden Club. Lake of the Sky is another name for Lake Tahoe because of its elevation. They have over 80 members and the club was formed to promote an interest in gardening in the North Tahoe area. They are a member of the Golden Foothills District of the California Garden Clubs, which has 350 clubs and 20,000 members. They are also a part of the National Garden Clubs. Emily's group is involved in a number of local charities. They donate every year to Penny Pines Reforestation Project, a project in which the national forest service plants 400 seedlings an acre in burned areas. They also provide $5,000 in grants every year. This year funds went to Thunderbird Lodge for their gardens as well as to a new community garden that started in Tahoe City at the Rideout Community Center, plus funds were donated to recreate gardens at Vikings Home Mansion.

Lake of the Sky has an annual garden tour. They just completed their 21st annual tour at Incline Village. They attracted over 600 people. The tour rotates between Incline Village, North Shore, West Shore and Truckee. One of the gardens visited in this show has been on the tour several times and will be on the tour next July. Barbara has a beautiful garden with lots of color. Emily knows Eric will enjoy both gardens and invites all in the GardenSMART audience to visit the area and experience the gardens of Lake Tahoe.

Barbara welcomes Eric and GardenSmart to California and Lake Tahoe. Barbara and her husband came to Tahoe in 1968 from Manhattan Beach, California, just to ski. They pulled their speedboat up, put it in the water and it has never gone back south. Barbara and her husband found they loved it here so much that built this house in 1973 and have basically spent all their free time here for years. They don't ski anymore so go back in the wintertime.

Eric realizes, when looking at Barbara's garden, that many gardeners are overwhelmed when they see a developed garden like this. There is often something intimidating or overwhelming getting a garden started. But building a garden is a progression, there's an evolution to it. Barbara never planned to garden here, but she enjoys gardening and decided she needed a few plants and started at the front door. Then every year she would go further and further down the hill. But it started by the front door with just a few plants and was put together section by section. To Eric it looks as though each little section has its own unique personality and charisma.
Top

There is a lot in bloom everywhere in the yard but they START THE TOUR AT THE STREET. 2 years ago this was nothing but grass. One day Barbara decided she didn't like the looks of the area and wanted to plant some flowers. She had someone come in with a backhoe and rip up all the grass and away it went. She ordered the rocks, built the walkways and in the process found an unwanted big rock down the street at a corner lot where someone was doing some yard work. She had just the spot, so here it sits. And that was when the fun stuff started. She had no plan but went out to buy some plants. She brought the plants home and started finding a place for them. She especially loves white and lavender Cosmos because they come back every year and she never knows where they'll pop up. Generally she leaves them and they have blended in beautifully. She also likes Echinacea and Veronica, both have been very showy. The Obedient plants she dug up from the lower garden and brought a few here. They have continued to expand.
Top

Eric feels that though Barbara calls this an accidental garden it inadvertently EXHIBITS A NUMBER OF GREAT DESIGN PRINCIPLES. For example, the use of the Cosmos and the Obedient plant exhibit the use of a great design principal - a light plant going into a dark border. This garden is right on the edge of the street, yet it has a nice sense of intimacy because the garden border provides a sense of enclosure, of warmth. The way Barbara has used the Veronica to border the pathway is inviting. It basically lures one into the garden. She has created very nice focal points with the Salvia and Echinacea in the back, the nice tall vertical plants draw ones eye into those sections of the garden. And, her use of three's to anchor the garden is spot on. The ornamental grasses exhibit that design principal perfectly. Barbara doesn't know why she always buys plants in threes but usually does. It just seems to her that it looks better than one's, two's or even fours. Eric thinks the best alternative to turf anywhere is a beautiful garden and Barbara has done that here. It's fantastic.
Top

THEY NEXT GO TO THE BACK YARD. Eric comments that Barbara must have never met a plant she doesn't like. It's not true. She does love most plants but does not care for plants that send out runners and then pop up at different places. She likes a plant that stays where she puts it. Eric notices a lot of plant diversity, there is a lot in bloom at one time, a lot of different plants. The roses really stand out and they're doing well. She tried the Tea Rose, the high ones and the big ones but found the Carpet Roses are the only rose that survives here. So, that's what she buys now and they come back every year. They just take a little trimming and a little fertilizer and they're off and running. They certainly provide a splash of color and, of course, add fragrance to the garden.
Top

THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENT PLANTS IN THIS GARDEN, as well. Liatris spicata provides a nice vertical accent, the Larkspur also looks fantastic. Barbara just can't resist buying plants with flowers, especially colorful flowers. She will buy a plant, then find a spot for it. She likes color when possible, since they do have a relatively short growing season. Eric notices some beautiful Astilbes and Hollyhocks. Both offer great splashes of color. This garden has been blessed with beautiful, large Conifers, some Arborvitae and Jack Pines. In a lifetime one couldn't plant these and end up with these beautiful statuesque trees. Barbara feels they are fortunate to live in the Lake Tahoe area. To wake up every morning to it's blue sky and these tall trees is a blessing. She's happy to be here.
Top

In contrast to looking up, when looking down there are WONDERFUL ROCK PATHWAYS WITH GREAT STONEWORK and hardscapes. A lot of work went into this. Barbara admits it has taken a lot of years but it's been done a little every summer and each summer she goes a little further. Often times one of the challenges gardeners face is working pavers, rocks and boulders into a garden and achieving a natural look. Barbara has done a good job of that. Eric likes the way she has used the Irish Moss and Creeping Thyme between the pavers. It provides a very natural look, it looks like the floor of a woodland garden. Another advantage to using these plants in this setting is that it fills in all the crevices and keeps the weed pressure down.

Barbara points out some other plants she likes. The Sedum is starting to bloom with a little pink flower. It travels and, too, fills in cracks and crannies. The Ajuga has a beautiful purple stalk in early spring, it's a showpiece then. One of the newest plants is Kent's Beauty Oregano. It has a little pink flower. The Lavender with its purple coloration sets off all the pink.

Barbara has some words of advice. Anyone who loves gardening or even thinks they want to try gardening should try, don't be afraid. Grab a plant, grab a shovel, go out and dig a hole, put the plant in there. If the plant's not happy, it will let you know. If it's unhappy move it someplace else. Even if you know nothing about gardening or garden design, grab a shovel, give it a try.

Eric thanks Barbara. Her garden is beautiful but he has another garden to visit so is off. Thanks Barbara.

Eric next visits Catherine who welcomes Eric to her garden. Eric comments that when walking down the stairs to this beautiful home he could see so much creativity and enthusiasm that's gone into this garden. Catherine tells us about herself as a gardener and some of the challenges that this garden presents.

Catherine has owned this property for 30 something years and has lived here full time for 15 years but she only started gardening about 8 years ago. She thinks gardening is in her genes. Her grandfather was a dirt farmer, her father was a farmer, although she never lived on a farm and her brother is a rancher. She thinks it's just something that's in her although until she stopped working she just didn't realize it. Eric says it must have been inevitable. He questions -Since there is so much in bloom right now could he pick a nice bouquet of flowers for her? No way!, says Catherine. There is not a flower in this garden that gets picked. She is overwhelmed when someone walks down the steps and they have a little vase with a beautiful ribbon and they're bringing her flowers from their garden. She's overwhelmed that they are generous and caring enough to bring flowers from their garden because she just can't pick her flowers. She couldn't bring them into her home, she couldn't give them away. They just live in her garden. Eric promises not to pick anything if Catherine will show him her garden and she consents.

Like so many sites in the Tahoe area there are significant challenges that gardeners here face. But this might be the steepest site Eric has seen so far. Catherine skis all winter long and doesn't get hurt skiing like she gets hurt in this garden. She falls off rocks, a rock falls down and hits her, she's carrying something and sprains her ankle and it has sandy soil. It's difficult, it's a hard yard, but she loves it.

It's beautifully terraced and the garden seems broken into little nooks and crannies. She didn't lay out her garden like one might suspect one would lay out a garden. One area was her first area, she worked on it for a long time, then started on another garden area. She thinks of her gardens as being separate and when she comes out to work, she only works one garden at a time because if she had to think of this whole yard at once, she wouldn't want to do it. It's sweet to have 1 little task at a time. Eric thinks that's a great message, especially for gardeners just getting started. Don't try to tackle the whole hillside in one shot. Break it down into manageable sections, get that garden the way you like it, then develop out and grow with your garden. That's a wonderful philosophy. Catherine has followed that philosophy and it's been fun.
Top

The challenges here are somewhat commonplace, we see a lot of steep inclines, mountains and hills in gardens throughout America. Catherine has addressed these problems very well, SHE HAS PLUGGED IN TERRACES THROUGHOUT, utilized wooden terraces and rock terraces. They're a wonderful way to hold topsoil and control erosion. The fact she's been able to build some nice topsoil behind those terraces is evidenced by healthy plants. This helps keep nutrient leaching from making it into the lake because she has more organic material to trap those nutrients and make it available to the plants. And it makes a magical effect seeing plants popping up from behind rocks, around little nooks and crannies, and then spilling over the terraces. Wonderful effects.
Top

Eric has noticed that Catherine must have a great affinity for the color white. It's true, she loves white. So THEY LOOK AT CATHERINE'S WHITE GARDEN. Eric likes monochromatic sections of gardens. They're special to him. Many shy away from a monochromatic garden because they either feel like they're too bold or too boring. Neither is true. One great thing about this white garden is that because all the flowers are the same color, what one gets is a great sense of the different colors and textures in the leaves, in the different patterns in the garden. This garden highlights those aspects of the plants that oftentimes are ignored because we're paying attention to the blooms. Catherine has some beautiful bloomers and tells about some of her favorites. Of course, she loves the Butterfly Bush, the Daisies are great and her roses when in bloom are a thing of amazing beauty.
Top

One of Eric's favorites and one that's in bloom is the CLEMATIS CLAIRE DE LUNE. It's a fantastic vine. This plant comes from quite a lineage and a wonderful Clematis program on the Isle of Guernsey, which is just a ferry ride from England. There are some great aristocratic genes behind this plant. To create a nice cool white flower like this is no small challenge from a breeding standpoint. On the tips of the flower, each petal has a little bit of lavender, which is quite nice. Obviously there's some purple heritage in this flower as well as some creamy buttery hues and that's what makes up the wonderful genetics behind this plant. It's in full bloom right now, this will be the last bloom for a while but hopefully there will be more later in the season. The Clematis is not only wonderful from an ornamental standpoint but each plant has little balls and every one of the little balls has hundreds of little seeds in them. One of Eric's favorite things as a gardener is to collect seeds, then plant those out. It gives one a chance to look at an array of different genetics behind these plants. To save the seeds, towards the end of the season let the balls dry out, when they're a good straw color, pull the ball apart and there will be hundreds of little seeds inside. In this part of the country one may want to put the seeds into a zip lock bag and store them until spring, so when it gets warm enough for things to start germinating naturally outside you can plant them into nice rich soil or if you want start them indoors. To do that put them into a nice moist potting soil, perhaps in some peat moss and just wait until they germinate, then separate them out and plant them. At that point you will get any number of colors under the rainbow. Some will be white, some lavender or purple, others creamy, buttery, yellow tones. Catherine likes the idea and will try it. It sounds like fun.
Top

Catherine's PERENNIAL GARDEN is nice and compact. Because of its position on the hill and the way light travels the sun perennials and shade perennials meld into each other very quickly. Thus we see a lot of sun perennials and shade perennials in a very compact space. Catherine likes the Daisies and they have never been planted here, they just volunteer. The Daisies obviously like it here and the more they volunteer, the happier she is. She, too, likes the Lavender and again she has roses. Too many roses but she's a hopeless romantic. The Coreopsis or Tickseed is very nice. Potentilla is a plant that we see a lot in these areas and tends to thrive in places with poor soil. It's a great Alpine plant.



Catherine has a great eye for color and her containers definitely bring a cheerfulness and a playfulness to the entire porch. Catherine loves her porch area. She drinks her coffee here everyday, she entertains her friends here, she sits on her couch and can look at these flowers and a lot of them are planted in old things. Since she likes old things, this is a happy place for her. Containers are a great way to connect the garden with your everyday living space and to bring a little piece of outdoor life right to your doorstep.

This garden has been a great experience. Eric thanks Catherine for the tour. And Catherine thanks Eric. She had fun.

Eric opines. Today we saw 2 great gardens. Both posed significant challenges for the gardeners yet they both overcame their obstacles by starting with just 1 small spot. He thinks that's great advice for everyone. That's how he started his garden. so, go ahead, get started gardening. Have fun.
Top

 

LINKS:

Plant List

Resort at Squaw Creek

Lake of the Sky Garden Club

   
   
 
   
   
   
   
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