In the author’s garden before the transformation began, bare ground dampened by El Niño rain awaits planting, with a tarp marking the future site of a deep bed—an almost bare canvas constructed from a weedy yard fenced against the traffic.
Red dahlias and shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’) are backed by a cool blue arbor.
Flowering artichokes, grown as ornamentals, not for their fruit, highlight a bright blue backdrop wall
Pebble paths wind around the garden beds to make mowing completely unnecessary and plantings easy to access.
Trellises, clusters of containers, and bright splashes of color make an inviting outdoor room.
A grouped planting shows off the author’s style of bringing together herbs with bright-colored flowers. Blooming clary sage is accented with ‘Tropicanna’ cannas and nicotiana ‘Only the Lonely’. Germander and lavender occupy the foreground.