Garden Photo of the Day

It’s still summertime in Pauline’s Garden

Cordyline is framed by a miscanthus backdrop.In the pot Lamb's ears are combined with petunias. Blue oat grass and Japanese forest grass is near the pot's base. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria

Today we’re revisiting one of our favorite gardens–Irvin and Pauline Faria’s garden in California. Irvin says, “This has been a special year for Pauline’s Garden and for us. Fifty years ago we found a beautiful lot on which to build our home and create a woodland garden here in Carmichael, and sixty years ago we were married.

In the front garden we relish the special charm, sturdy structure, and the 4-season beauty of river birch trees. Their soft green foliage turns mellow yellow in the fall.Most striking is their exfoliating multi-color bark seen throughout the year. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria

“To commemorate our anniversary, at the garden entrance we replaced an old flowering quince bush with a new glazed pot and a Cordyline ‘Electric Pink’ transplanted from the garden. The glaze tones complement the hues of the exfoliating bark of the river birches in the entry garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria

“Salvia has been planted in a special corner of the garden to attract humming birds. There I can sit undetected by incoming birds and photograph them. A huge oak tree fell suddenly without warning, splitting another oak tree in two. Removal of both trees opened the creek side sitting area to sun exposure, which is a nice change.

Border plants along the garden entry path include agapanthus, daylilies and white and pink phlox. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria

“Two of Layman Whitaker’s wind sculptures have been added to the garden. These exquisitely crafted sculptures fabricated from copper, steel, and stainless steel twist with the faintest breeze. Their calming effect blends into the nature of the garden while dancing to the rhythm of the wind. We enjoy these whirling wind sculptures while having lunch and overlooking the garden from one of three dinning tables on the deck. At this time we are making preparations for autumn visitors and garden club group tours. We are still enjoying summer weather here in Carmichael.”

Lamb’s ears, pink chrysanthemums and colonies of yellow lace-leaf coreopsis soften the entry landscape. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria

Happy, happy anniversary, Irvin and Pauline! Your garden looks even lovlier than the last time we visited. How on earth do you manage it? I am in awe.

In the East Garden pond entry are featured containers of bamboo, horsetail, and Japanese forest grass. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria

You’re running out of time to take some photos in your garden! So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected].

A majestic ‘Crimson Queen’ Japanese maple shrouds a stone lantern. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria
Fallen oak tree splitting the other oak. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria
Open sitting space near the creek ready for new planting. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria
Our garden-potting center has been renewed. The counters are crafted from leftover tile and feature an old stainless steel kitchen sink. Green tubs contain potting mix, fertilizer and compost.The small shed houses tools and garden repair items. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria
Nestled under a canopy of European white birch at the east corner of the living room deck is one of three tranquil sitting/dining areas, which overlook the upper garden landscape. A smiling sun sculpture presides over the shaded birdbath. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria
Wind sculpture “Twister Oval”. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin and Pauline Faria

Want us to feature YOUR garden in the Garden Photo of the Day? CLICK HERE!
Want to see every post ever published? CLICK HERE!
Want to search the GPOD by STATE? CLICK HERE!
Check out the GPOD Pinterest page! CLICK HERE!

View Comments


  1. user-1020932 09/25/2013

    i always love seeing this garden and i think if i visited every day i would always spy something i had not seen before.this is a garden that needs to be toured with Pauline and Irvin for a walking documentary of each square inch. it's always a treat

  2. flowerladydi 09/25/2013

    It is a lovely garden Pauline!,,,,, love the wind sculture, the soft weathered blue hue blends so nicely with the lambs ear, and grays in the bed, even with the layered flagstone and your statue and adds a touch of whimsey as well,, love it!
    Great birch, everything so lush,, I truly love it!
    The split Oak is something!,, nature is amazing!
    Great potting area too! Lovely garden!!

  3. bee1nine 09/25/2013

    Would love to be there to see your 'twister Oval' in action
    when the wind blows. What a sight this must be! I too, like
    its placement among the lambs ears, lavender and such complimenting it all.
    Always a pleasure to view and admire your wonderful gardens Pauline and Irvin.
    Sending my wishes too, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY !!!

  4. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/25/2013

    It gets more awesome with every virtual visit. Thanks and congratulations on your anniversaries!

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 09/25/2013

    Irvin and Pauline, every time you share new pictures, my heart swells as I gaze upon them...I see your garden as a celebration of love and a life well lived... together.
    Your new glazed pot is absolutely gorgeous and I love the simplicity of the cordyline taking center stage in it. I'll bet the wind sculptures are positively hypnotic in a gentle breeze and energizing when the wind picks up.
    I'm glad to read that you take the time to sit and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
    Were you ever great travelers or have you always preferred to stay and tour your own backyard?

  6. tractor1 09/25/2013

    In fifty years an awful lot can be crammed into a garden... rich and lush... as it represents your lives together... may you enjoy many more anniversaries. I envy your river birch, are you sure it's not a clone of TNT's? And that is one neat sculpture... if the electric generating windmills were similar they'd be much more aesthetically acceptible. More photos, please.

  7. cwheat000 09/25/2013

    HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Your garden is something to aspire to. I love the horsetail in a pot. Really, I love it all. Good job on creating a new workspace. I pot stuff on my knees in the middle of the grass. Your garden never gets old. Please keep sharing pictures with us.

  8. GrannyMay 09/25/2013

    Happy 60th Anniversary Pauline and Irvin! What a beautiful garden you have created together! And how lovely that you are commemorating its 50th year by a special new focal point at the garden's entrance. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  9. wGardens 09/25/2013

    A very Happy Anniversary to you! And love your chosen way to celebrate with new garden focal points! Beautiful! Lovely River Birch and Japanese Maples!!! Great potting area...

  10. sheila_schultz 09/25/2013

    Pauline and Irvin, your gardens are filled with lessons for all of us to learn. It's obvious that every plant is placed with so much thought... the subtle colors, interesting shapes and amazing textures all combine to create beauty for the beholder. It's immediately apparent that your gardens were created with love. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for giving all of us a wonderful gift!

  11. annek 09/25/2013

    Ahh, those brilliant colors! The first photo is breathtaking, thereby a perfect tribute to your 50 years as co-gardeners and 60 years as partners. That is so romantic.

    I call your lot the Butchart Gardens of California. You have so many lovely garden rooms, that it looks to be about the same size too.

    Keep sending are both an inspiration.

  12. wildthyme 09/25/2013

    Happy Anniversary! Quite an accomplishment in this day & age (the garden, too!). I'm always amazed by plants, like the river birch, that will thrive in places as diverse as California & Montana. We planted one by the stream this summer and it's just starting to color up for fall. Since it seems to be happy there, we plan to add a few more next year.

  13. DellGarden 09/25/2013

    First we want to express our thanks for all the wonderful comments and anniversary wishes. For us time has passed at light speed. To answer meander1, yes we have traveled through Europe by car and the San Juan Islands, Colorado and New Mexico on our tandem bicycle. Also we have spent some time in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The many parks and gardens we visited have been our inspiration.

  14. user-1020932 09/25/2013

    a tandem bicycle! your cool factor just increased by 20X and you were already cool to begin with

  15. debrees 09/26/2013

    Love the twister oval, river birch and your flower combination. Kudos on a lovely garden.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest