Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

About Town with Geno's Garden: a McKinley Park Garden

an (almost) no-lawn landscape ...

How fun for me, an invitation to meet another gardener and her garden! Patty has been creating this garden in McKinley Park for the last 15 years. The first thing I notice is the generous flagstone path. Wide paths have a way of making you feel welcome, don't you think?
dry-laid flagstone path

Her sun border has some great perennials, like this Bee Balm. Hummingbirds love it!
Monarda didyma

Ferns in containers are a great way to garden under a large shade tree, especially one with gnarly surface roots like a magnolia!
shade plants under the Magnolia grandiflora

More perennials ... this one looks to me to be the tall spiky Liatris, with another hummingbird favorite, California Fuchsia,
Liatris spicata and Zauschneria californica

and a Black and Blue Salvia. Salvias attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Do we see a trend here?
Salvia guaranitica, Black and Blue

Away to the back yard for more horticultural bounty! Here we have a nice mix of tomatoes and other veg in containers,
veggies in the backyard

and, some member of the squash family with a variety of annuals and perennials.
(Rosalind Creasy would be proud!)
veggies mix with annuals and perennials

Did I mention the bamboo? Of course there's bamboo! I love the sophistication of these colors and and the variety of shapes.

The bamboo grove extends to 5 neighboring yards and was here before Pat bought the house. She's created a pathway so she can get in there and control it.
backyard bamboo grove

What's a garden without some funky homemade art projects? Boring!
grapevine wreath with tin cans filled with portulaca

... a closer look. I love rusty tin things, and this would be a project any of us could do!
close up of grapevine wreath with portulaca

The next project is tackling the remaining front yard lawn, a small skimpy grass having trouble doing anything in the shade and roots of the magnolia. Most likely it will go to be replaced by another lovely border and some paths. Then she's an official "No-Lawn Gardener". No lawn, no mower, no edger for her! Patty says her spring garden bursts with tulips ... I'll be looking forward to seeing that! Thanks to Chris, a Facebook Fan, for inviting me to visit her mom's garden. I really enjoyed it.
Patty & Chris

Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email


  1. You are so right about a generous path being welcoming. What a beautiful garden! I love the bamboo and the funky tin can art project.

  2. I love the older gardens in East Sac -- because some of the stuff that you find there is so darn old that you can't find it in any nursery anymore. Case in point? The parking lot behind the watering hole known as Club Raven. Someone -- a very long time ago -- turned part of that parking lot into a garden that a practiced eye can really appreciate. The highlight is a burnt orange coneflower that has crawled over trees and houses through the decades and puts on a glorious show of color in the summer. There are other things back there that are -- for the most part -- hidden from public view and not really appreciated by the bar crowd (a shame).