It’s been 2 years since we started serious gardening. I’m sharing a summer garden tour of my backyard which is my oasis during this quarantine “new normal” life. Hope you like it! For last year’s garden tour, you can see here.
I’m located in San Francisco Bay Area – agriculture zone 10a.
Summer garden video tour
As you can probably tell from my blog name, I’m a big fan of hydrangeas. So of course I dedicated a lot of flower bed areas for them. Most of them are Nikko Blue and Endless Summer, but I have planted some other species for variety. I’m slowly becoming a hydrangea collector for sure ?
Here’s part of my blue hydrangea collections. I recently painted over the brick with Limewash paint, and it makes such a difference. Before it was an orange tone, contrasting the blue flowers too much.
I try to place my hydrangea plants in the most shady part of my garden, because my backyard is pretty sunny without mature trees. Hopefully as our trees gets bigger, we will have more areas that we can plant hydrangeas.
Dining and lounging
Next to The hydrangea bed, we have an outdoor dining area that we actually don’t use as much because it is always so sunny. We’ve planted some clematis and climbing rose hoping that one day that will provide enough shade for us to have a nice lunch there. For now it’s more of a place for occasional dinner or gathering with friends before the quarantine started.
We got a water fountain last year and placed it next to the dining space. I’m a big fan of water features! Not only it provide visual interest in a garden, but also listening to the water gives me a Zen moment. With the current quarantine situation, both my husband and I have to WFH, so we run it a lot more than before, while we work in the garden.
Across from the water fountain is a bird bath – another water feature! We love watching birds come here for a drink or bath.
I’ve planted some flowers to complement those water features, while keeping the selection varied in terms of texture and shape. Some flowers we had are pincushion flowers, felicia aethiopica, pansies, and craspedia! Some of them bloom all year long which is really nice.
By the way, adding some small garden statues can be a fun idea to bring some whimsy to your garden! I like to thrift those from local estate sales or facebook marketplace.
This white bunny statue was previously a bronze color and I painted it an aged white texture. You can find the DIY process here.
I cannot live without this outdoor umbrella from Target. There’s no mature tree in our backyard, so it is very nice to have an umbrella we can move around as needed.
Pass the dining space is our lounge area, where we hang out the most! With the outdoor umbrella and the natural afternoon shade this is a perfect spot to work or to have lunch.
We have quite a few trees around here, such as lemon, persimmon, tangerine. Right next to the citrus trees, I planted a mock orange which has the most amazing scent, it resembles orange blossom but sweeter in my opinion.
Archway – natural divider for garden rooms
Another side of the backyard is more dedicated to fruit and vegetable production. I placed an arch to create a more defined entryway.
I got this metal arch from Hayneedle. We recently secured the base with cement which made a huge difference. Before we secured it, it always got knocked down by strong winds.
I planted potato vine and eden rose to climb over the arch. The potato vine is evergreen and grows really fast – ideal to work together with my eden rose which is pretty small still. It is also ever-blooming in my region, so it adds a nice floral touch to my garden during the winter when a lot of my plants are dormant.
Eden roses are so pretty and they bloom repeatedly throughout the summer with a nice scent. It’s probably one of my favorite roses.
I have a mini rose garden right next to the arch. Here’s are few other roses from my rose garden.
Growing fruits and vegetables
Pass the archway, starts the fruit and vegetable garden.
In terms of fruit production, our berries have been doing really well given this is their second year. We like to pick berries every few days during summer for snacking.
We built a 3-tier strawberry planter to take advantage of the vertical space. You ca check out the DIY tutorial here.
Besides berries , some baby fruits are forming in the early summer. Such as tangerine, avocado, and passion fruit. My husband and I are big fans of tropical fruits so we’ve planted cherimoya, figs, and starfruit. But so far we are still waiting to see some of those trees bear their first fruit.
For vegetables, I have built a raised bed cover to protect my vegetables from squirrels. It has been doing an amazing job at keeping the critters out. I have a video tutorial on how to build this cage as well that you can check out.
Water-wise ground cover
After we moved into this house we have removed all the previous lawn and replaced it with this water wise ground cover, called Kurapia. It saves a lot more water than a traditional lawn and it doesn’t need to be mowed either – because it grow horizontally, not vertically. In the summer it explodes with tones of white flowers – bees really love it!
We started with buying a few patches and let them expand by themselves to save the cost, instead of buying sod to cover the entire space at the outset.
Here’s what it looked like when we first put on those small patches we’ve divided:
And here’s what it looks like now:
Hope you enjoy this post and take away with some ideas and inspirations.
Hi Kelin, You have created such a beautiful garden space. It is filled with many of my favorites. What an inspiration! I really appreciate the plant list you provided and was wondering if you had links for the fountain and bird bath? I would like to add these features to my yard and love the ones you chose.
Thank you for sharing.
Hi Michelle, I bought both locally, one from Facebook marketplace and the other one from a local garden sculpture shop. Definitely check out garden sculpture stores nearby you 🙂
It all looks beautiful, My back yard is a work in progress. I have a question, do you leave your cushions out over night or bring them each night? I keep bringing mine in & out & it gets tiresome. Even though they are made for outdoors It takes a while to even dry out from dew over night.
I leave them out all the time, even in the winter. They do get dirty from time to time, we sometimes power wash them. Also nature cannot be too dirty 😛
Kelin, thanks for sharing. You have a wonderful sense of design and have inspired me!
Thanks for your sweet comment Susan – so glad you like my design style 🙂