Granite Bay

I started gardening 4 years ago when we bought a house with oak trees that were over watered and dying. I've researched California native and drought tolerant plants and am overhauling our property with water wise plants that are attractive to wild life.

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Drought tolerant plants attract wildlife

To reduce water and attract wildlife, I experimented for the first time with California natives (orange sticky monkeyflower, wooly bluecurls, foothill penstemon, etc.) as well as drought...

Recent comments

Re: The garden Nina left behind

Beautiful garden and very inviting! I also have a question about the decomposed granite. I was thinking of putting it in my CA garden as well, but am worried about our cat as well as the neighbors using it as a potty. Has this been an issue or can you pack it down hard enough that it's not tempting for cats?

Re: Hunter's design in New Mexico

Beautiful and colorful! It's interesting to see how empty space is part of your design and adds to it. I'm always tempted to try to recreate the lush cottage style designs just with drought tolerant plants, but I see here less can be more!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Peter & Gisela's garden in Germany

Thanks for your nice comments, I'll be sending a link to my godfather and his wife so they can enjoy them. Maybe I can recruit them to the GPOD community! Tractor1: Peter is my godfather, not my son...although I'm trying to pass on my love of gardening to my kids, they are only 6 and 8 right now.

Re: Darryl's garden in Antarctica

The email just came in, probably a little late for the East Coast but just in time for the West. Greetings from 103 degree hot Sacramento Valley, CA to Antartica!! Your vegetables look fantastic, I hope those tomatoes don't grow any taller or they'll hit the lights! And your cucumbers look better than mine, I have to water them 3 times a day to keep them from shriveling. Great job!! And thanks, Michelle, for this treat!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Dan's garden in California

Hello there neighbor, I live in Granite Bay!! Sorry to comment so late, I'm behind with my email. Love the natural look of your plantings. I'm also experimenting with California natives and the Salvias are my favorites. Try the orange Sticky Monkey Flower, a great evergreen for areas that get no summer water. I've been holding off on Crocosmia because I read they are too invasive - are they in Roseville? BTW, on Mother's Day is a great Garden tour by the Master Gardeners (Green Acres sells tickets), I've gone to it the last 3 years and always enjoyed it. This year it focuses on the Auburn/Meadow Vista area.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Connie's garden in Minnesota

This is a wonderful look!!! I love the use of the bold colors and so much blue and violet looks just stunning. I can't imagine how much work it takes to keep the weeds out, but it certainly seems worth it.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Ana's garden in Portugal, revisited

Your garden looks lovely and relaxing. Having the same irrigation/weather issues here in the hot and dry Sacramento Valley - the lush look is not feasible. Quick tip as you all on this list must enjoy looking at garden pics, I came across this website last night www.gapphotos.com - stock photos of great gardens and plants with most every plant labeled!! This makes for great search functionality too, just type in "salvia" or "summer border" and you get pages of pics. Pics are small as they are there to sell them, but still lovely to behold.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Susan's garden in Georgia

Beautiful and peaceful, the egret is placed just perfectly! Thank you for the before/after pics as well. Shows how nicely a garden can turn out to be when you envision it before and plan ahead...one day I'll get there...maybe ;-)

Re: READER PHOTOS! Brenda's garden in Georgia, Day 1

Georgeous!! I love how the plants brighten up the dark areas. You have such a keen eye for design. I went back to your fall pictures to see what usually grows there and what a beautiful change of seasons you have now with bulbs in the spring and lantanas starting summer, it's like you live in two gardens at once!

Re: READER PHOTOS! James's garden in California

No daffodils in California, are you kidding? Google Daffodil Hill in Sutter Creek, California, they have literally thousands of them. I live 30 mins away from Jamie, same zone, we get (light) frost and everything here, enough to grow Cherries and so on. Beautiful garden, Jamie. I like checking out what grows in the heat here, I'll have to try out the Hakone. And is that a Crocosmia in the background?

Re: READER PHOTOS! Teri's garden in New York, revisited

Beautiful, creative garden! Thank you especially for including the before picture!!! Whenever I see beautifully arranged gardens I feel like that is not in the cards for me, but seeing what you started with (albeit many years ago), it shows what you can do with little to start. Michele, can we do a series of before/after showcases? I'll contribute myself as soon as I can take some spring time pics (in May) as all my "after" plantings are at best 1-2 years old, so last year's pic won't do.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Sarah's garden in Maine

I love this very different, very natural looking garden. We should all use more of those gorgeous drought-tolerant plants, I bet you don't have to water much. You are also doing a nature a favor by planting so much that's attractive to bees and butterflies! I like the color of the liatris - what kind is it? I've been eyeing Liatris Kobold but thought the color might be too vibrant.

Re: READER PHOTOS! Sarah's garden in Illinois, Day 2: The back yard

Love the look, especially when combined with the grass in the one picture. Careful with vines though, especially the vigorous ones (like trumpet vine, morning glory), depending on your climate they can be extremely invasive. Here in zone 9 I have to stick with clematis, everything else takes over the entire back yard.
PS: Simon is the most popular judge because he says it as he sees it!

Re: READER PHOTOS! Tim's garden in Ohio, Day 1: The gravel garden

tractor1: If you read Micheles explanation, the gravel was already there, 9 inches of it, so I guess this is a solutions of dealing with it other than having someone haul it away and starting with soli. I like it a lot!! My question to Tim is: how long did it take from the "before photo" where you planted all the plants to the way it looks like in "after" photo?

Re: READER PHOTOS! Michael's garden in Oregon

First of all,your yard looks lovely, so colorful and varied! Love the use of the grasses too (oat grass?). What I don't understand is how your Russian sage looks so lush with only a 90 day growing season and here (zone 9, California), I can't get mine to get bigger than a twig or two!!! I'm inspired to try it one last time next year.