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Water-wise and "friendly" ... secrets of Carmel gardens.

Water-wise and "friendly"...secrets of Carmel gardens

You see them as you travel down Carmel's streets: window boxes stuffed with geraniums, tufts of magenta-flowered ice plant tumbling over stone walls, roses entwining weathered trellises. Together these elements create what one resident calls "our friendly gardens," which contribute so much to Carmel's charm. On these pages, we take a close look at ways some area homeowners display blooms for eye-catching impact. We also list some public gardens to visit, both in Carmel and nearby Monterey. And here, we share gardeners' tips for using the floral bounty of spring and summer to best advantage.

Combine flower colors carefully. For big impact in small spaces, choose simultaneous bloomers in a single hue, as with the hydrangea and campanula or in contrasting hues as in the orange-white mix. Consecutive bloomers should also pay tribute to a thoughtfully conceived palette.

Put pots or small pockets where they'll show up best. Good spots are entries, decks, and garden paths or steps.

Encourage little surprises. Sweet alyssum frequently reseeds itself between brick pavers in the patio; these are left to grow. Campanula --although deliberately planted--also introduces an element of surprise.

Stretch bloom time with multiple plantings. In the narrow bed, Michelle Comeau planted five jasmines for spring bloom and six fuchsias for summer bloom. White fairy primroses fill in below them in spring, impatients in summer.

What about water?

Because the last three years have been critically dry, gardeners here have been living with severe water shortages. But by limiting thirsty plantings to small, showy pockets and by watering wisely, they have proven that it is possible to have attractive gardens while conserving water. Most of the ones shown here are watered by carefully concealed drip-irrigation systems (the hydrangea at left is drip-irrigated for 10 minutes twice a week in summer, the hillside planting below left for 15 minutes every two weeks). Large plantings are limited to drought-tolerant plants. Instead of a lawn, silver-gray Helichrysum petiolatum dominates the front garden; it thrives in sandy soil with little supplemental water.

PHOTO : Curbside bouquet of sweet alyssum, nasturtiums, and petunias clusters in this front garden

PHOTO : in Carmel Meadows; plants are in pots and in the ground. Gray-leafed Helichrysum

PHOTO : petiolatum and `San Diego Red' bougainvillea grow behind

PHOTO : On our cover, primroses brighten pots and rock-edged bed, succulents grow between wall's

PHOTO : stones.

PHOTO : Tumbling from niche between stones, Campanula portenschlagiana adds eye-level color to

PHOTO : wall edging Bud Hobbs' patio in Carmel Valley

PHOTO : Changing tapestry of bloom festoons this patio wall. Fuchsia `Gartenmeister Bonstedt'

PHOTO : shows off orange trumpets in summer; Jasminum polyanthum, behind, blooms earlier. White

PHOTO : impatients fill in below

PHOTO : Dividing wide steps with a splash of color, lineup of pots features hot pink petunias.

PHOTO : Yellow violas or pansies replace them in winter

PHOTO : Edging a deck, Janice Mainhardt's planter box bursts with vibrant bloom spring into summer

PHOTO : from nemesias, ranunculus, and schizanthus. Stout supports raise the box 3 inches above

PHOTO : the deck for air circulation

PHOTO : Tree-shaped Lycianthes rantonnei sits beside garden steps; coreopsis spreads golden blooms

PHOTO : at base

PHOTO : Pot in a pot: violas in one container nestle inside lower, wider one planted with

PHOTO : variegated English ivy; when flowers finish blooming, they're easily replaced.

PHOTO : Ground-hugging mounds of Scaevola `Mauve Clusters' and shrubby Mexican bush sage bloom

PHOTO : together through summer on this dry Carmel hillside.

PHOTO : Illuminating an entry, single hydrangea in 2-foot-square box is crowned with milky globes

PHOTO : in summer. Campanula isophylla `Alba'--started with one sixpack plant in each corner of

PHOTO : the box--tumbles from its base.
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes related article on public gardens in Carmel and Monterey
Article Type:Directory
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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