Today’s photos come from John Erskine of San Carlos, CA.
I’ve been gardening on this property in San Carlos, California, for 18 years. Originally the backyard had nothing in it; I’ve planted everything that you see. Since that time, I’ve learned that roots from trees can really travel a long way! In my flower beds I’m always discovering roots from trees I’ve planted.
Here’s my advice: Don’t be afraid to change things around and try new flowers and plants and new combinations. If you have grown tired of something, take it out and try something new. It’s a wonderful way to keep your garden young.
The growing season is long here (10 months), so I like to keep the garden looking good most of the year with explosions of flowers at certain times of the year. First is the tulips’ peak, then comes the spring annuals’ peak, followed by roses, a midsummer peak, and ending with a late-summer of peak of asters, black-eyed susans, dahlias, and ornamental grasses.
The garden never looks exactly the same from one year to the next, as I’m constantly trying new plants, moving things around, and indulging my changing tastes.
I usually don’t think of roses as having other plants grow through them, but this ‘Graham Thomas’ (Zones 5–9), ‘Mary Rose’ and a couple of others look beautiful when combined with the Cineraria stellata (Zones 9–10).
Spring is ushered in by colorful masses of tulips.
I love the spring annuals pictured here: Virginia stock (Malcolmia maritima), corn cockle (Agrostemma ‘Milas’), ‘Solar Fire’ (Ursinia anthemoides), and five spot (Nemophila maculata).
More annuals: corn cockle (Agrostemma ‘Milas’), Minoan lace (Orlaya grandiflora), and tidy tips (Layia platyglossa).
Still more annuals: ‘Solar Fire’ (Ursinia anthemoides), Virginia stock (Malcolmia maritima), Santa Barbara daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus), Dianthus, and ‘Fama Blue’ pincushion flower (Scabiosa caucasica ‘Fama Blue’).
I love this view looking back at our house. Pictured are angel trumpet (Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’, Zones 8–10) and the rose ‘Marjorie Fair’.
This is my backyard in late spring, with poppies and an eastern snowball viburnum (Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’, Zones 3–8) on the right.
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