Friday, November 19, 2010

Edible Herbal Landscaping

I’ve shared photos of this edible herbal garden before but haven’t really discussed it much.

This house and garden was designed in unison 11 years ago in Marin County.
The homeowner desired an Mediterranean styled garden reflective of her travels to Italy and France yet empathetic to our long dry California summers.

With this in mind a functional edible and herbal garden was designed.

Four large olive trees laid out in a bosque fashion provides a knitted canopy of shade to sit beneath on a hot summer day. These trees were irrigated for the first year and are now no longer dependent on any irrigation.

From California Gardening

From portfolioMay08.jpg

Herbal infusions of prostrate rosemary and drought tolerant lavender frames the rose gardens.

prostrate rosemary and climbing white iceburg roses. spring flush
From portfolioMay08.jpg

From California Gardening

From California Gardening

From California Gardening

An espaliered brown turkey fig tree drips with swollen fruit in August while the dwarf citrus trees are laden with fruit all year round. Creeping thyme clothes the checker board ground.

From California Gardening

From California Gardening

When I first saw this valley property in late spring it still had a foot of standing water covering most of the back yard.
To remediate the drainage problem a highly engineered drainage system was designed.
We did not have the advantage of connecting to a sewer system so all of the water that flows into this low lying property is filtered through a surface to subsurface filtration system on site. The drainage troughs are located under the gravel pathways.

From California Gardening

From California Gardening

There is a separate raised bed vegetable garden that produces abundant produce year round but the real working bones of this edible and herbal landscape can be found in the softscape layout of the garden.

From Potager Gardens


shira said...

That's it. I'm ditching the husband and kids and moving to California.

What I wouldn't give for year round gardening.

Ivette said...

Glorious, Michelle!
As usual, you created a sophisticated garden that seamlessly blends in with the surroundings, the architecture, and meets the client's needs - AND solved a crappy drainage problem to boot! I LOVE it when edibles are integrated into ornamental plantings- there is no need for horticultural xenophobia! I also have raised planters, but I find such joy in tucking edibles here and there, making new associations with ornamentals ... it's pure fun!
Thanks for sharing this - let's hope these gardens become the norm rather than the beautiful exception.

Desert Dweller said...

Thanks...the spatial definition is tops, and it is very inspiring how nicely a Mediterranean effect was pulled off.

I wish we could grow olives here in the cooler end of Sunset Z10, but no dice!

Janet said...

Its a cold, grey afternoon here in Manchester, England, but your photographs have cheered me up. At least there is somewhere in the world that is warm and sunny. Thank you.

phrago said...

Michelle, Your gardens are beautiful, always. But when you explain the issues that you engineered a solution that is sustainable, and explain the plantings, they become even more interesting. You should do a book of ten of your gardens. I would love to help. "Derviss Dissected, Vol.1" A big 20 x 30" Hardcopy. It will be on every gardener's coffe table in America....

Annie Hayes said...

Just gorgeous Michelle!

Christine said...

Lovely. The furniture selection really matches the feel of the garden. I'm just laughing to myself trying to imagine your initial site assessment with a foot of water!

Kari Lønning said...

I love the creeping rosemary keeping all those rose-feet cool, and the contrasts between lavender spikes and the lushness of the roses ... But what I really love are the quiet lines and details in winter.

weeder1 said...

What, exactly, does "planted in a bosque fashion" mean? It is all very lovely.. deer must not be an issue?

compost in my shoe said...

Cool garden. Certainly has the feel of a Mediterranean oasis.

Julie Orr Landscape Design said...

This project is stunning Michelle. I love the use of the gravel for hardscaping and its a budget friendly and permeable solution to boot. You have made it both elegant and functional. Bravo.

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Thanks for all your kind comments
In it original definition a bosque and a forest of trees providing a canopy of shade.
The meaning has morphed a bit in the landscape architectural classroom in that it is still a grouping of trees that forms a canopy but the layout of the trees usually has some specific mathematical layout.
In this garden it was a simple quadrant.

Janine Robinson said...

i can just feel the warm sun on my face when i walk into this garden. love the expanses as well as the lush, defined spaces. thanks!