Monday, August 30, 2010

A Heather Garden grows in Northern California

The Parken Heather Garden in Gualala California, Mendocino County

Dick and Joanne Parken had just completed designing and overseeing the construction of their spectacular home on the rugged Mendocino coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean when they started to interview designers for their coastal landscape.

From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

While having dinner up the road one evening at St. Orres Inn they asked Eric Black , the designer and builder of the Inn who he might recommend for collaborating with them on the landscape design of their new property.

This is how I came to know Dick and Joanne, and it has been one of the most enjoyable working relationships that I have ever known.

The design of their garden evolved during several personal information gathering meetings where Dick and Joanne expressed their desire to have a colorful textural wildlife friendly garden to view and walk through on their way down to their favorite seal watching and abalone diving cove .

The garden had to coexist with their love of the wild animals who made their home along side of theirs.
Wild turkeys, a wide variety of birds, hawks and owls, deer, gophers and woodchucks were encouraged to enjoy the land along side of them and their adult kids and grandchildren.

From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

The garden is growing into its ninth autumn now . Under the watchful stewardship of Joanne and Dick along with the bi- monthly horticultural expertise of their visiting horticulturist, Helen Garcia of Gualala and the hard work done by their dedicated grounds maintenance gardener , Jesus.

Early morning fog
From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

A walk through the heathers to the gazebo.
From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

Late morning and the fog has burnt off
From Heather Garden in Gualala CA

Joanne Parken and Horticulturist Helen Garcia sitting infront of a bronze sea lion sculpture that Dick Parken designed
From Heather Garden in Gualala CA


Christine said...

Michelle, this is magical! I love the tapestry of colors and textures you've created.

Steve Asbell said...

What wonderful textures! Its like a whole lilliputian landscape within a garden!

Desert Dweller said...

Thanks for sharing...I think I like your narrative on this outdoor living space at least as much as the design itself.

The owners and the people you collaborated with cheer me up as to WHY I became an LA!

danger garden said...

Great pictures and even greater story!

ScottHokunson said...

A truly beautiful landscape! And set against the back drop of the tall pines, the scale is amazing. Wonderful work Michelle!

Anonymous said...

The garden is like a colorful quilt, all the colors working harmoniously side by side. This place is truly a stunning and heavenly spot. I commend all of you on working with the wildlife.

Delphine said...

it is just amazing and splendid... wao.

Laura Stone said...

Beautiful garden, so thoughtfully designed.

What would make this post even better would be the addition of a plant list!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely stunning!

Phrago said...

Michelle, this garden has just gotten better over the years, which is not only a testiment to your design skills, but to the determination of the owners who care for it as well. It seems so much more three dimensional and lush than it used to, now that he plants are mature and full. Also, this is the best photo spread of this garden that I've seen to date. Excellent...

rebecca sweet said...

This is one of my favorite gardens of yours - thanks for the in-depth tour this morning. I especially love the soft, mounding shapes throughout, occasionally punctuated by little 'exclamation points' of the evergreens. And the tapestry of colors is just amazing - especially the orange tones. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful....

allanbecker-gardenguru said...

Here in the north eastern section of North America, US Zone 4b, a heather garden is just a fantasy. Thank you for taking me on a very colorful journey. It is most appreciated.

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments.
It's always appreciated to read what you think.

This is one of my favorite projects.
I hope that it may inspire others .

happy gardening,