Today we’re visiting Donald LaGrand’s garden in Somerset, California.
These photos are from October. The property is just over 4 acres and lies at the foothills of the Sierra Mountains just west of Lake Tahoe. My dream as a gardener is to have a space big enough to create a landscaped area with a massive flower bed, a large vegetable garden with a raised bed, a rose garden, a large pond with a waterfall, and fruit trees, along with paths and benches to encourage guests to meander about with a beverage of their choice in hand as they enjoy the quiet surroundings.A simple raised bed with yellow bearded irises (Iris germanica, Zones 4–9).
An assortment of flowering lavender plants (Lavandula species and hybrids) that bring beautiful color and, of course, wonderful fragrance to the garden. Lavenders come from the Mediterranean, and so they adapt beautifully to the similar climate of California.
A variegated lavender. There are several variegated lavenders on the market, but this looks to be the striking variety ‘Platinum Blonde’ (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Platinum Blonde’, Zones 6–9).
A beautiful tickseed (Coreopsis) hybrid blooming away. Coreopsis breeding has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, so if you haven’t grown these plants in a while, it is well worth exploring the new colors, habits, and flower forms now on the market.
A young fuschia in a hanging basket. The nodding flowers are perhaps best appreciated when they tumble over the edge of a basket.
A view of the setting for this garden.
Of course, it would hardly be California without some picturesque rows of grapevines, perhaps just waiting to be made into a “beverage of choice” to enjoy while strolling through the garden.
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