Garden Tour 2013

Chock-Full of Water-Wise Choices

This landscape was converted approximately five years ago when the curved walkway was added and the lawn removed. The homeowners wanted to conserve water and just knew that taking out the lawn “was the right thing to do.”

Low Maintenance…Love It!

What once was a very narrow, shallow front yard with the standard swath of lawn has been transformed into a low maintenance and attractive landscape. This garden stands out among its neighbors and is a complete departure from the typical subdivision landscape.

Secluded Native Garden

There is more than meets the eye in this native garden! A secluded sitting
area is tucked in the corner behind a low fence and is barely visible from the street, creating an outdoor room in an area of the yard that otherwise would have gone unused. The large Hackberry extends its branches across the entire landscape in a shady embrace. In the summer and fall, late afternoon sun penetrates the perimeter of the landscape making the seed heads of Deer Grass and Mexican Feather Grass glow a golden yellow.

Rain Garden Plaza

The City of Elk Grove’s Rain Garden Plaza, located on Laguna Springs Drive across from Colton Park, is the most comprehensive rain garden in the Sacramento region. It’s a beautiful garden that is a magnet for wildlife—as well as one that is low maintenance and habitat-friendly.

Woodland Wonderful

This front yard previously suffered from a case of ‘turf-in-the-shadeitis’.
However, after diligent efforts on the part of the homeowner it has
successfully completed its ‘garden rehab’ and been born anew as this
wonderful woodland garden.

A Beauty is Born

Several years ago, when the homeowner’s children were young, they wanted to create a front yard space where they could sit and keep an eye on the kids while they were playing. Initially, the paver patio was installed which gave them a place for seating and a patio umbrella to provide shade from the late afternoon sun. Back then, they still had a front lawn. Fast forward a few more years…the homeowners wanted to add a walkway between them and their neighbor and one that led from
the sidewalk to the patio. It was then that they decided the small piece of remaining lawn wasn’t worthy of keeping.

Dr. Seuss’ Garden

This garden is unique to say the least! We chose it to be on the garden tour for a variety of reasons, one of which was its striking composition of botanical shapes, forms, textures and colors. We affectionately refer to it as the Dr. Seuss garden. The dominant feature is the vertical evergreen spire that punctuates the landscape. The verticality is in contrast with the horizontal form and structure created by the silvery blue Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar. This juxtaposition of contrasting color, form and texture continues as your eye moves throughout the landscape.

Sensible Suburban Simplicity

Two years ago these homeowners decided to renovate their landscape and decided early on in the design process that they did not want to include lawn in the new design. Their neighbors had removed their lawn several years earlier and had added the adjoining walkway, so it just made more sense to aesthetically blend the yards as one.

Water-Wise Courtyard

This landscape is home to a large active family. The homeowners wanted a place where they could sit and watch their children play or just gather on a weekend afternoon with neighbors and family. The courtyard provides just that place and is an appealing outdoor room where high maintenance, water consuming lawn used to be.

Water-Wise and Wonderful

You can’t help but stop and pause when you drive by this home. The staggeredsteps of floating quartzite flagstone invite you to explore the garden and lead you to the crisp white pergola at the entry. The reflective quartzite flagstone and matte finish of cobble and lava rock are surprisingly wonderful together. And,the earth tones of the lava rock resemble bark mulch at first glance.

Designer’s Delight

This landscape delights the eye and beckons attention for a lot of reasons! This is the only home on the garden tour with lawn. Lawn?! Yes, lawn. Let’s be clear…the Elk Grove Greener Gardens Project is not a ‘hater’ of lawn. Similar to eating your favorite sinful treat, we suggest moderation or at least reducing the quantity. When using turf there are a few things to keep in mind that make it ‘greener’ (and we’re not referring to its color). Install lawn in widths that allow for efficient irrigation coverage and maintenance practices. Keep your irrigation system in good working order and prevent runoff and overspray. And, use a mulching mower to return nutrients to the soil and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers.

Evergreen Ease

Planted in 1993, this ‘lawnless’ landscape has been thriving for almost 20 years and still looks great today! The landscape is composed of an inviting entry walk that is punctuated with periodic bands of brick that complement the brick façade of the home. Large boulders anchor the planting beds along the way. A variety of evergreen groundcover, shrubs and trees complete the landscape and add year-round interest with foliage colors of blue, gray and a variety of greens.

Relaxing Renovation

This renovation went from a traditional tract home front yard of turf and more turf, to a relaxing courtyard surrounded by an attractive landscape.

Lawnless Curb Appeal

This renovated landscape is another example of a lawnless front yard with lots of curb appeal. The arcing textured colored concrete walkway casually guides visitors to a multi-colored slate entry and fountain. Mexican pebbles add accent and contrast in both shape and color when juxtaposed to the slate tile landing.

Perennial Paradise

Thirteen years ago this homeowner took the lead and lost the lawn! This was not a popular decision among neighbors at the time, but as the newly planted landscape took shape, filled in and matured, this front yard has gained both curb appeal and approval.