South Berkeley Paradise

Front yard

This is a huge property totaling nearly a quarter of an acre. The front yard was installed first because it was a top priority  to bring beauty to the neighborhood. The goal was to create a vibrant and welcoming garden that would also be drought tolerant and low maintenance. Also, the plants were selected because they were tough enough to take being located near a dog park with a lot of foot traffic. The project included the decision to remove some messy volunteer trees, install some medium sized boulders into the slope to help prevent winter rains from causing erosion, and to install a drip irrigation system.

Front yard before installation:

South Berkeley Paradise. Front of the house before installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. Front yard before installation. By Sequoiah WachenheimFront of the house - before installation

Most of the year, each plant has it’s own space and does not merge with others. This was an important design decision that resulted in being a very low maintenance garden. Very little pruning is needed other than removing spent flowers. With Earthly Arts regular maintenance, weeds were promptly removed. Even after 5 years, there were virtually no weeds at all!

Front yard 1,5 to 5 years later:

South Berkeley Paradise. Front yard after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. Front yard after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. Front yard 5 y. after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim

South Berkeley Paradise. Front yard after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. Front yard after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. Front yard after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim

 

East side garden

The eastern side had a “lawn” of invasive weeds that had to be watered and mowed every week, and had a straight cement walkway to the back rental unit edged with gray gravel. Because this was the entrance to the rental unit, a beautiful stone path was created with lush growth on both sides. This lush growth received 90% of its water from a laundry machine gray system. At first, the garden received very little shade through the day. However, the shrubs planted along the fence to screen out the neighbor’s unsightly roof quickly created some much needed shade from the hot sun.

This is how it looked before:

South Berkeley Paradise. East side before installation. By Sequoiah WachenheimSouth Berkeley Paradise. East side before installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. East side before installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim

And this is how it looked after 1 1/2 to 5 years later:

South Berkeley Paradise. East side after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. East side after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim South Berkeley Paradise. East side after installation. By Sequoiah Wachenheim

Western side yard

The western side yard had a large play structure on top of gravel when the house was purchased. After getting rid of the play structure, 5 different types of clumping bamboos were strategically planted to screen out the neighbor’s windows that faced directly into the yard.

This is how looked before:

West side in progress   West side before installation

And this is how it looked after 4 to 5 years later:

West side Eclectic fountain. By Sequoiah Wacheneim Western sede after. By Sequoiah Wacheneim Sauna on the west side. By Sequoiah Wacheneim

Initially, this was another hot and sunny area that called for some shade. It was decided that this was to become a retreat-like setting, designed for reflection and relaxation. Therefore, some key elements included a stone fountain from Indonesia, a small lawn for picnics and lounging, a large stone bench and an outdoor shower. The deck became surrounded by lush kiwi vines and 5 more fruit trees provided fruit and screening from the neighbors. Finally, a whimsical wood shed was build to keep firewood dry.

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