In the rolling hills of east Paso Robles is a 5-acre parcel dotted with oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.
It is peaceful, serene and lush with native plants.
This beautiful landscape was not created by accident. Teri DeGross carefully planned the placement of each plant and flower.
When she purchased the property, a former barley farm, more than 20 years ago, a beautiful house sat at the top of three tiers of woodland shrubbery and oak trees.
Now on the upper tier, adjacent to the house, an expansive lush green lawn is bordered by low-maintenance native and drought-tolerant plants. An island of rosemary, penstemon, wispy native grasses, rock rose, iris and daisies bloom.
Boulders break up the plantings and adds visual interest.
At the west end is a dry river bed that provides rainy-season drainage from the top of the driveway to the landscape below. A variety of rocks and boulders border the bed, making it appear that the creek has been there for centuries.
Redwood mulch fills in spaces between the plants and serves as a nice location for a colorful birdbath.
A pool surrounded by pine trees and palms is located on the second tier. The nearby hillside had to be built up to allow for plantings. Brilliant, yellow-tipped red African daisies add a pop of color to the rock-bordered walkway near the pool.
At the bottom tier is the garage and garden shed.
DeGross added paths of pea gravel, rock, and decomposed granite that lead from one tier to the other and around the back of the house to the main woodland area. The paths fit well into the landscape, adding to the rustic feel of this property.
All through the year, bullfrogs, ground squirrels, deer, gophers, and quail can be seen in DeGross’s garden, as well as other wildlife.
Care has been taken to protect the few edible plants. Wire surrounds the nectarine and plum trees while grapes, roses, and tomatoes in pots are behind a tall, fenced-in area.
Flowering fruitless plum trees, lavender, catnip, cypress bush, yarrow, and red hot poker plants dot the landscape and surrounding hillsides. Brilliant yellow daisies, cactus and succulents fill in any space left.
DeGross recently sold the Paso Robles property, but its new owners will certainly benefit from the well-planned, low-maintenance landscape. Like all spectacular gardens, it appears effortless and blends well into the surrounding terrain.
Tami Reece lives in Paso Robles and has been gardening and preserving its bounty for 30 years. Email her if you know of a unique, beautiful garden, garden show or celebration at email@example.com. Please allow a minimum of six weeks from the event.
▪ Add color with deciduous trees with purple, red or orange leaves.
▪ Place bird feeders and bird baths in your garden to encourage wildlife.
▪ Add raised bordered planting areas to add height to your garden.
▪ Grow flowers in pots if gophers are a problem.