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

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Lawns ... Hater? Lover? Neglecter?

You know, it's up to you ... just think what fun you could have if you followed your heart?

I had a great time yesterday with the Rancho Cordova Library Garden Club. One of the subjects we  addressed was "what else?". Our  neighborhoods across the country are so common (lawn + shade tree + foundation plants), it's hard to think outside that reality. (It's like you might get in trouble!) But what if you did try something else? Huh? What else? Today we'll visit one of my favorite options!

Courtyards, Sitting Areas, Porches and Perches! 

This homeowner in McKinley Park added courtyard half-walls, pavers, and voila! ... an outdoor kitchen, dining room and neighborhood perch!

Porches have always been sitting areas. But how much nicer when they're overlooking a garden and not just a lawn-to-street view of your neighbor's garage!

This isn't fancy ... a couple of Adirondack chairs, a couple of pillows, a couple of tables. A mixed assortment of paving stones. Doable and not a budget breaker!

This backyard spot belongs to Dave Roberts, a local designer and dedicated environmentalist. It would look just as sweet in the front yard!

Materials and Inspiration

Rock yards are great resources ... not just for materials, but ideas. Silverado Nursery and Supply down off Watt and Hwy 50, is the biggest around.

A nice retaining wall like this to surround your patio gives you instant seating!

... and wouldn't you love to have a peephole? Somewhere!?! Anywhere!?!

Garden tours are another source of ideas. Two local tours that will especially address this hip, new gardening evolution (!) are the "Gardens Gone Native" tour on April 20 and the Elk Grove Greener Garden Festival tour on April 14th. Both are self-guided. (Click thru on the picture for the registration links.)

Home show garden displays usually have seating areas. My two garden displays did! These give you an idea of what I might design, because ... frankly ... I did design them!!!  

My "California Days, Moroccan Nights" display at the California Flower and Garden Show in 2010. That's me pretending to read in my fancy little hut. Read more here, here, here and here. Whoops, one more ... and here. OK, OK! I'll admit it. I'm talking a lot about myself! But this was a BIG undertaking, a huge learning curve. I earned it!

Here's my 2011 entry, "La Casa Verde", which included a courtyard, edible garden and this outdoor shade room. Again, I was way in over my head. Read more here and here.

Garden shows are another place you can find inspiration: This month, the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show tops everyone's list!

This beautiful outdoor patio won the Gold Metal in the 2012 SF Flower and Garden Show.

I like to see people enjoying their neighborhoods. Most of us don't have large estates! Our front yards make up 1/4 - 1/3 of the average suburban lot. Why not reclaim it and use it for something other than an entryway?  Where might you like a sitting spot? 
Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help!
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email

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