Garden Photo of the Day

Grow a Garden With Love and Imagination

A California dream garden

Welcome to Frank Villalpando’s garden in Sylmar, California.

My backyard is about 10 years old. When I was in grammar school, I used to do gardening with my grandfather at homes in Encino, Sherman Oaks, and then eventually Beverly Hills. My ideas come from those homes I worked on. My passion came from those great homes that had been landscaped 20 to 30 years ago. You can see the vision of the people who owned them then, and the vision of those who own them now.

Everybody has a favorite plant. I love lots of plants, from my ‘Mr. Lincoln’ rose to my ‘First Prize’ rose. The smell in the blossoms can freshen up any room.

There are plenty of difficulties in the garden, from bad weather to using the wrong mulch. But just like anything, you have to do trial and error, not lose hope, and go back to basics. There are good years and bad years, but balance is the key. The most important things are proper watering, improving the soil constantly with amendments, and exercising a lot of love and a lot of imagination.

Looking out from a shaded seating area into the garden, which is a riot of bright colors and flowers.

Frank’s hard work clearly has paid off with the abundance of fragrant flowers on this rose. Can’t you almost smell it?

A perfect spot to sit and enjoy the beauty of the garden.

Steps lined with blooms welcome you up and into the garden.

Plenty of containers help soften the edges of the hardscape.

This garden is certainly a paradise, and you can tell how much love, imagination, and hard work Frank has put into creating this beautiful space.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    ParksWesley 07/04/2019

    It's fantastic!

  2. paiya 07/04/2019

    Frank, you have so many beautiful plants in your garden that it is difficult to choose favorites, but, what seems to be bougainvillea along the back, is magnificent. You were so fortunate to have gardened with your grandfather - so far, we haven’t been able to entice our grand-daughters to get their hands into soil!

  3. sandyprowse 07/04/2019

    Wow, to see a garden from California is in itself a special treat for a Canadian. The fragrance from the picture of the mass of roses wafted right into my little basement apartment this far north. I loved not only your pictures of the garden but also your thoughts behind it. Great work Frank!

  4. garden1953 07/04/2019

    Just absolutely beautiful!!

  5. nwphillygardener 07/04/2019

    I know these comments tend to only be positive affirmations, but I must say that I would love to see a photo of those elegant curved steps and flanking curved retaining walls without the distraction of all those small pots and two rectangular black mats. There is beauty and simplicity in the line of the masonry work that is hidden. The two large pots at the top of the steps is an enhancement. But I personally find the rest to be a sad distraction. Even the lozenge shape of many of these pots are in conflict with the vista.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/04/2019

    Hi, Frank, it struck me as well timed that your garden photos should have been selected to grace our screens on July 4th since your patio picture includes the display of an American flag. Your flowers are beautiful and it was nice to read how much of your love for gardening came from sharing the activity with your grandfather.
    Happy 4th to you and all.

  7. User avater
    treasuresmom 07/04/2019

    This may sound silly to you (and probably others who read this) but your comment that you gardened with your grandfather brought tears to my eyes. So many today don't appreciate being with their elders or learning from them. Thank you for sharing that. But I have to add those roses are beautiful especially that peachy one. Do you have the name for it?

  8. User avater
    simplesue 07/04/2019

    I'm from Pittsburgh but I think that is a Bougainvillea vine you have growing in the background of the first photo? It is so mysterious and beautiful I want to peak inside under the arch! Wow! And a lemon tree with lemons! Also I noticed the birch branch with lights attached on the ceiling of the patio area- nice touch! Really a happy colorful garden!

  9. hummerlu 07/04/2019

    So pretty. I too would love to know the name of the peachy rose.

  10. btucker9675 07/04/2019

    Stunning! Thank you for sharing this jubilee of colors.

  11. User avater
    AnnaMartinez 07/06/2019

    It's fantastic!

  12. [email protected] 07/07/2019

    Hi Frank. Thanks for sharing all your photos of the various shapes, sizes, and colors of your containers and your gardens. I bet each pot gives you some special pleasure, and that's what our gardens should be to us. I find it interesting to see what others have done, and value the differences we all have in our preferences and pleasures. That peachy orange rose is spectacular!

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