Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! More from Sara’s garden in California

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Janice LeCocq

Back on December 21st, we featured three photos from Sara Malone’s garden in Somoma County, taken by her friend Janice LeCocq. They knocked our socks off, and Janice promised to send more throughout the year. This is her next installment. I had trouble picking the lead photo, they’re all so wonderful, but the first photo’s mossy rocks and octopus-like junipers made me SWOON… Enjoy. And visit Sara and Janice’s blog here.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Janice LeCocq

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Janice LeCocq
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Janice LeCocq
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Janice LeCocq
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  1. Chefin1950 01/13/2012

    What lovely moss-covered stones! Do you know what kind of stone they are? Did you find them that way or did you get the moss to grow on them yourself? Any hints?

  2. bellslady 01/13/2012

    The plant color combinations and textures are an inspiration. Photography artful. Thanks!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/13/2012

    Uh, oh, an attack of evergreen envy just hit as I looked over this group of photos. I love their varied colors, shapes and textures and they offer year round interest. Add in the fabulous moss covered rocks and you have perfection.

  4. JulieBW 01/13/2012

    Hey, don't miss the rainbow in the background of the second photo!

  5. Wife_Mother_Gardener 01/13/2012

    I love the view to the sky in the last photo. The structure frames it perfectly.

  6. tractor1 01/13/2012

    What a stupendous assortment of specimen plantings, looks like someone hit the mega lottery and brought all the local nursery stock home. I envy those weeping conifers, unfortunately I'd have to keep most of them fenced from the deer here, and even then the voles love juniper roots (Solar Sonic Spikes help a lot). Most look freshly planted, I hope with enough space between to still appreciate them as they grow.

  7. annek 01/13/2012

    Fab. u. lous!!!!!

  8. pattyspencer 01/13/2012

    First to Chefin1950 - here is a link that will tell you how to grow moss -

  9. pattyspencer 01/13/2012

    Now on to the pictures. I love them! I also went to their blog and signed up. I always thought that I was that cottage garden flower over kill type of gal but after seeing these pictures and reading their blog I'm seeing just as much beauty in evergreens and other non flowering plants. I too have a difficult time in the fall with my "lack" of flowers and I absolutely have no structure going on and the amount of clean up is - well - I hate the clean up. Maybe this year is the year I begin to change my focus. Oh and I see the rainbow as well - what a great photo that was.

  10. sheilaschultz 01/13/2012

    WOW... what a great way to end the week Michelle! Sara's garden is amazing.

  11. Formandfoliage 01/13/2012

    Hi all, thanks for your nice comments. A few answers to questions:

    The garden (in its present form) is about three years old. Most of these conifers grow very slowly, and many are more amenable to aesthetic pruning than one might think, so yes, they were planted with the idea of keeping their shapes visible - very good point by tractor1.

    Conifers and other woody plants are indeed more expensive than most herbaceous perennials, but don't overlook the advantages of shopping in the off-season. Nursery cash flow is abysmal in winter, and if you can find one that stays open you can often get great deals. Keep a running list of what you are looking for and buy opportunistically.

    The rocks in the lead photo are native California types - not sure of the kind. See the link that Patty Spencer posted above. I love incorporating rocks into the landscape - year-round structure and interest and NO care needed whatsoever!

  12. tractor1 01/13/2012

    FORMANDFOLIAGE: I too shop for end of season stock just before nurserys here in NY shut down for winter so I agree that's a good point, albiet much of what's left by then is kind of Charlie Brownish, but since I only buy 2-3 I usually make some good finds. You and others may find this site of interest:

  13. jlamf 01/13/2012

    Please!!! Tell me what the "octopus-like junipers" are called.

  14. jmlecocq 01/13/2012

    thanks all for the nice comments on the photos. it is challenging and fun to capture what Sara wants for the blog. I literally can spend hours in her garden when the light is good. I am also learning a LOT more about her plants!

  15. priscilla_zone5 01/13/2012

    Thank you Janice + Sara for once again sharing your amazing gardens + photos. The unique evergreens play up the importance of having "good bones" in the garden especially in the winter. I find myself asking: "What's the name of that evergreen + what's that shrub, etc." Any chance you could start labeling the focus trees/shrubs/perennials in the photos, Michelle? I'm sure I'm not the only curious gardener who would be forever grateful :)

  16. jmlecocq 01/13/2012

    PS...yes...we can label at least some of the plants. (Sara knows them all, but if there are 50 in the shot...well...that's a long caption! ) I'll show her what I'm planning to post and she can fill me in on who's who in the plant lineup.

  17. Formandfoliage 01/13/2012

    A few more answers to your questions and comments!

    Iseli Nursery (the site that tractor1 notes above) is the source of many new and exciting conifer cultivars. In fact, we're headed there this summer to do some photographing of their display gardens. If you like what you see on their website, get your local garden center or nursery to order from them!

    The 'octopus' junipers are Juniperus horizontals 'Blue Chip'. Aren't they amazing? And to think that junipers never seem to get much respect. Do make sure to plant them far enough apart.

    I will try to do some plant id and labeling of Jan's photos, and if you go to our blog (Michelle posted the link above) we have seasonal photo galleries started (we've got autumn and winter so far) and we will be doing plant lists, as well.

    Thank you all (including you, Michelle!) - it is great to share photos and commentary with other gardening enthusiasts. This has been lots of fun and Jan and I are learning from you all, too!


  18. jmlecocq 01/14/2012

    thanks all for the nice comments on the photos. it is challenging and fun to capture what Sara wants for the blog. I literally can spend hours in her garden when the light is good. I am also learning a LOT more about her plants!

  19. user-7006867 01/14/2012

    Very nice displays and photography. I like how the foliage colors are distinctive yet still restrained. It is too easy to get rambunctious with evergreen foliage colors. Would love to see the same with a dusting of snow.

  20. user-7006867 01/14/2012

    oops.. retract the snow comment. Didn't notice it was California :-)

  21. perenniallycrazy 01/16/2012

    I am in total awe of your garden Sara and fascinated by your photography Janice. I can't stop looking back at these posts. Thank you for sharing these and please keep it up. Wish I had each of these framed as paintings inside my home!

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