Five local gardens will be on display April 29 as part of the annual Morro Bay AAUW Garden Tour.
One of the more eclectic and colorful gardens that will be featured is Ann Hodges’ garden in Los Osos.
Hodges is not only a wonderful gardener, but she is also an accomplished mosaic artist. Her garden is filled with stepping stones and other unique items.
Along her driveway is a dry river rock bed dotted with succulents, potted grasses and rusted found objects. Colorful wood totem poles decorate the brick wall along with clay statues and glass gazing balls.
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The walkway that leads to the backyard has a multitude of brightly colored mosiac-covered stepping stones. Designs include dolphins, sailboats, elephants and seahorses. The stones also decorate a ledge along the top of the wall next to the pathway.
Also on the wall are occasional groupings of potted succulents masterfully arranged with variances of height, color and trailing plants.
Hodges only has a few house plants. To bring the beauty of greenery and flowers to her home without having to take care of indoor plants, she groups staghorn ferns and other plants outside of her windows.
All along Hodges’ walkway are hanging succulents, potted succulents and found objects. More vibrant mosaic stepping stones lead visitors into the backyard.
Dried branches of climbing rose bushes are along the wood fence to the north. Hodges has planted pink, red, coral, and white geraniums at the base of each rose bush. She uses the rose branches as a trellis for the climbing plants.
Along the east wall, interspersed with Hodges’ composting bins and an assortment of colorful potted succulents, are more painted wooden totems decorated with found items. The artist has attached several heart-shaped rocks to one totem with wire.
Leaning against a wall a rusted decorative metal door, an artifact from Hodges’ childhood home in Arcadia, is decorated by a lavender plant trained to climb the unique pattern.
Hodges is an avid plant collector and is always on the lookout for new succulents to add to her collection. Giant blue echiveria, donkey ears (Kalanchoe gastons-bonnieri), and kalanchoe (Katapifa tarantula) are some of the unique varieties Hodges grows.
Hodges uses flowering plants such as yarrow, lupine and agapanthus to accent the succulents. She tries to only use drought-tolerant plants to keep watering and garden upkeep to a minimum.
For more information about the Morro Bay AAUW Garden Tour, visit morrobayaauw.blogspot.com/p/annual-garden-tour.html.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow a minimum of six weeks from the event.
▪ Be creative in your gardening. The unexpected is what makes a garden fun.
▪ Hide objects among plants for a visitor to find.
▪ Group together plants with the same watering needs.
▪ If your window faces a fence, place objects and plants to view.
▪ Color can come from art or hardscapes as well as plants.