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I just love it when I’m driving down the street on some uninspired errand, when I spy the house of an obvious mad gardener. Even better when I have time to stop and poke around for a closer look.

This garden makes me happy. Clearly the person who lives here loves plants. They are gifted in a way I envy. They’ve densely packed the garden with a diverse living privacy screen that’ll look good all year round, all without looking like a hoarder.

garden 1 sidewalk

This is the view from the sidewalk. Successfully treading that fine line, planting right up to the edge without taking over. I didn’t see the gardener that day, but they had clearly been out and about recently, with the telltale tracks from a recent watering, probably for that big, beautiful, thirsty banana behind the hedge. I should add, this was from a few weeks ago, when we had nothing but hot dry weather for months.

garden 1 hellstrip 4

I like what they’ve done with the parking strip, which repeats just a few green and gold plants. I never would have thought to put these together, the cut leaf sumac (tiger eyes?) with the columnar boxwood (graham blandy?) and the variegated yucca (bright edge?). This combination makes me consider boxwood when I never had before. This is why we never say never when it comes to plants.

garden 1 conifer with yucca landscape
I love unexpected combinations like the yucca rostrata next to the pine.

garden 1 driveway 2

I like how their driveway shows the contrast between the diversity of plants in this yard, and the neighboring arborvitae mono-hedge. I don’t generally give a lot of thought to garden art, but it’s interesting how their pointy sculpture mirrors the shape of the arborvitae behind it, somehow it makes the hedge feel like part of their design.

garden 1 border 2
One side of the garden faces a dead end street and an apartment building parking lot. They’ve done a nice job of creating privacy here.

garden 1 banana behind the border
I love the banana peeking over the top. It makes me want to get an invitation to the other side.

garden 1 back border by parking lot
This is probably not a view the gardeners see much, but if I were one of the people living in the apartments behind this house, it’d be fun to get this look at the garden from an otherwise pretty plain parking lot.

garden 1 front door approach 3
With surrounding garden wall, you could almost completely miss the house, but it in there, past a pretty stand of bamboo.

garden 1 front door totem
Did you notice that totem poll by the front door? It made me laugh. And check out that huge beautiful pot of cast iron plant. That’d be fun to come home to.