Tuesday, October 9, 2012

From Front Lawn to Santa Cruz Edible Gardens Tour

Chard, strawberries, daylilies, orange sedge and loropetalum.
On August 25th, I was fortunate enough to be involved with Slow Food Santa Cruz's first annual Edible Gardens Tour which toured 15 private and public gardens of varying styles, applications and uses. There were several showcase gardens, homespun eclectic gardens, a massively producing food forest, a tomato garden with tomato tasting and poetry reading, and a couple community gardens to name a few. It was a huge success with a fantastic turnout. Over 200 tickets were sold and the tour was very well received. There are several slideshows, blogs, and a pages I can direct you to as so I will provide some links at the end of this blogtastic story. As I've probably mentioned before, I'm from the school of integrated edibles and enjoy integrating fruit trees, herbs, fruits and vegies in the existing landscape while keeping with the aesthetic. The garden I designed that was featured was in this vein. Here is a short photo story of the transformation of building this garden.

BEFORE. The front yard had this lawn that sloped, was never used and never looked good due to all the wacky grading. So we cut out and graded a semi-circle area to enlarge the existing front walk into a patio. Creating a drystack feildstone retaining wall and (soon to be lush combination of edible and ornamental plants).

MID. As you can see even right after installation, it looks miles better and created a special space for the homeowner to sit and relax. In just a short 6 months, the garden is lush and bountiful. Chard and strawberries spilling over lilies and grasses.

AFTER. Now you can see it's all grown in. In the picture to the left there is a fig tree, apple tree, pomegranite, madarin, oregano, creeping thyme (in flagstones), carex, daylilies, parsley, tomatoes, euphorbia, loropetalum and leucodendron to name a few. Gemstones of color and edibility in a Santa Cruz Garden, all watered by drip, mind you.

Easy & affordable custom water feature.

  And what's a sanctuary without the sound of running water? Contrary to popular belief, not all water features run thousands of dollars. We hand selected a beautiful pot at Pottery Planet and their subterranean basin (water feature kit) and with a little instruction reading, voila- there you have a beautiful water feature! What's great about the sub-terranean basin and recirculating pump features is that they are safe to have around young children or gardens where critters frequent- as there's no standing water. Also in feng shui, having running water at the entrance of the house is supposed to bring prosperity as well as create a harmonious tranquil space.

Installing the basin for water feature.

You can join the facebook Edible Gardens Tour page by clicking here: https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzEdibleGardensTour
And a great little blog article written about the tour can be seen here: http://www.imagesforrenewal.com/general/slow-down-and-garden/
Oh and lastly, the pre-tour article from the Sentinel (where both Homeless Garden Project and my biz gets a little shout out): http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/food/ci_21369899/slow-down-and-see-whats-growing-slow-food