Garden Photo of the Day

Spring unfolds in Pauline’s California garden

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

Today we get to see the latest developments in Irvin and Pauline’s garden in Carmichael, California! Irvin says, “We thought it might be of interest to share garden highlights from a typical spring morning stroll through “Pauline’s Garden”.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

“The garden landscape encompasses an upper garden and a labyrinth of six different elevations of connecting switchback paths to a creek below. Azaleas have been included in the garden for their brilliant color and rich texture. They play a role as a naturalistic walkway border at the garden entry and other pathways. Azaleas reach their crescendo in April. Here in Carmichael, California, they hold their sprays of wispy red and white blossoms through April and early May. Known as “royalty of the garden”, many of our azaleas are over 40 years old. In the natural woodland garden the azaleas complement the Japanese maples.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

“Paired with the azaleas and Japanese maples are the flowering dogwoods that, when in full bloom, always add dramatic spring beauty to the landscape. Because of their different flowering schedules we planted pink (Cornus florida) and kousa (Cornus kousa) flowering dogwoods close together. Once the pink dogwood begins to drop its blossoms the white blossoms of the kousa dogwood begin their display.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

“Another wonderful flowering spring shrub, which is located in the lower garden by the creek, is weigela (Caprifoliaceae). It is a native of East Asia and has variegated foliage and trumpet-shaped flowers and offers interest for all seasons. It is a hardy plant and nice in a large garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

“To make the morning stroll complete we are serenaded by the soft cooing of mourning doves and accompanied by our companion Aussi, Lenny, who loves to explore and run the paths.”

Always a pleasure to tour your gardens, Irvin and Pauline. And Lenny is adorable!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 05/02/2013

    as soon as i saw the headline of Pauline's Garden i knew i was in for yet another treat and i wasn't disappointed. always beautiful and it always looks like acres and acres and acres , hard to believe it's only one.

  2. tractor1 05/02/2013

    Hmm, the GPOD email I received this morning is from three days ago.

    Irvin's and Pauline's garden is spectacular.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/02/2013

    Sigh, Pauline and Irvin, I think in my next life, I would be content to come back as one of your beautiful Japanese maples that only get more interesting as they age. Sight me where I could catch a glance of that vibrant blue pot and some ferns and I'll happily let the years pass by. Your garden is truly one of the most magical that get shared here and opportunities for return visits are always appreciated.

  4. CCCDDD 05/02/2013

    GPOD is advertised as photos of great gardens, spectacular plants & stunning plant combinations. I particularly enjoy plant combinations.
    All of the gardens are interesting and beautiful.It is so much fun to see what grows in other parts of the world.
    Azaleas don't thrive here so it was nice to see Pauline's this morning.
    Thanks to all who are brave enough to share.

  5. trashywoman62 05/02/2013

    Irving, again you amaze us with beauty.

    Meander1, you would have to move over on the bench with a view of the blue fountain pot because that is where I want to be too!

    Irving, the depth of your garden is enhanced with the dark contrast of the deep shadows. I, for one, love the darker photos. I feel that is how your garden looks and feels when you are in it, all shadowy and cool like a cocoon, not bright and sunny like 15 acres of field with a tree planted here and there.

    Thank you for sharing again. I look forward to the next visit.

  6. trashywoman62 05/02/2013

    Irving, do the hellebores grow in your neck of the woods (zones 5-8)? I could picture a few of them in the undergrowth of your Japanese maples like the one I have as my avatar. Clumps of the white ones would just glow in your setting and I always look forward to them in March.

  7. wGardens 05/02/2013

    Picture Perfect! I absolutely love what you have accomplished here. So amazing, so wonderfully inviting!

  8. MichelleGervais 05/02/2013

    So sorry, yet again, for the email woes, everyone. I have NO IDEA why it hasn't been resolved yet. I'm just as bummed as you guys, and will keep pestering. Fingers crossed....

  9. tractor1 05/02/2013

    Michelle: The email issue is beginning to be the New Normal... I just five minutes ago got an email for Jay's Garden... that makes three different emails today for past submissions. And since you already know all about it I won't mention the email issue again.

  10. Happily_Gardening 05/02/2013

    Lovely rich, soothing and peaceful colors! Love the Mourning Dove, nice composition.

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/02/2013


  12. schatzi 05/02/2013

    This is what heaven looks like. Gorgeous! Calm and peaceful and full of color. Lenny looks like a love.

  13. DellGarden 05/02/2013

    trashywoman62: To answer your question; yes we grow some hellebores, white and pink, in the garden. Thank you for your suggestion. We will transplant a few clumps of the white ones when the weather cools some. At this time we are having very warm days of 87 to 92 degrees.

  14. Jay_Sifford 05/02/2013

    I also love the shadows this garden shows off so nicely. Shadows add intrigue and show bright colors so nicely without them being gaudy. This is a garden I'd love to visit.

  15. tractor1 05/02/2013

    Jay_Sifford: That those photos are so dark has nothing to do with shadows, there is either some incorrect setting on the camera that was used or more likely with this website... those photos were taken on a clear sunny day, those pictures should appear bright. I was able to correct those photos but someone removed my posts with the links to the corrected photos.

  16. user-1020932 05/02/2013

    i love these photos with the shadows and different light levels it's like being there. i always look forward to pauline's garden and everything in it.
    the missing emails don't bother me, i just save the previous days and enter that way, two more clicks no big deal. if that's my biggest issue of the day i'm VERY happy.

  17. blackmagic 05/02/2013

    your garden always make me so very happy!!!!

  18. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/02/2013

    tntreeman, love your perspective on the two additional clicks true that if that's the biggest problem of the day, we are all quite blessed!
    Irwin and Pauline, I share your delight in taking those garden walkabouts with the companionship of a beloved Aussie. Our pleasure in our own property is enhanced by knowing our own Aussie, Piper, loves her runs in the woods and snuffles among the bushes...always on the lookout for wascally wabbits and quick moving squirrels.

  19. trashywoman62 05/02/2013

    If I am not at my home computer, I just go to and put my cursor over the menu item that says BLOGS and click on "Garden Photo of the Day". You don't need the email link unless your memory fails you and you forget that that is the first thing you do in the morning while drinking that first cup of java :)

    And tractor1 maybe the photos were shot while in low light to create the effect that they do to some of us. That doesn't mean it is WRONG, just creative and outside the box thinking. Not everything has to be done the way you think it should be, we are all individuals with our own drum. You with your green fields and Irving with his BEAUTIFUL deep shadows!

  20. tractor1 05/03/2013

    trashywoman62: as I mentioned to Jay those photos are not in shadow, those photos appear dark because were altered from their original submitted state when they were reproduced on this site...I had no problem putting each back to its original state as submitted... had a special effect been used, such as sepia, I would not be able to put each photo back to original... that dark hue is not sepia tint nor is it due to shadow.

  21. user-783091 05/03/2013

    Outstanding!! Best garden I've seen since I signed up for Photo of the Day!!

  22. MichelleGervais 05/03/2013

    I rarely, if ever, change the exposure of the photos. I simply don't have the time. What you see is what I get. Seriously, if someone sends in photos and the photo quality isn't good enough to see what's going on, they just don't get posted. Can we agree to end all debate on photo quality and focus on the gardens, please? Man, am I crankypants today.

  23. appaloosa 05/07/2013

    I wondered what the blue shrub is in photo number 5?

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