THE TRANSFORMATIVE GARDEN: A LOW-MAINTENANCE LIFECYCLE IN THE SIERRA



Winters up in Truckee can be wonderful - the skiing, sledding, a warm fire... but the surrounding landscape of the homes here undergo the harsh realities of seasonal living - and lie dormant for months under all the snow. Basically, everything in the yard dies, every year.

Every Fall, everything in the yard dies.
Every summer, by the end of June, the yard has filled in, and the meadows surrounding the house are about to burst with flowers

The acre of cleared land around The Log Cabin provides a pristine, natural mountain meadow full of Shasta Daisies and Black-Eyed Susans in the summer months budding from late June through the end of August, when all the plants in the yard go to seed - Fall in the Sierras is a browner time of year, but brings relief from trimming and deadheading - as you want your flowers to go completely to seed - that is how they regrow and multiply.


I began cultivating the meadow grasses and wildflowers surrounding the house 17 years ago. When I first moved up here from the Bay Area, I really thought a manicured lawn and perfect rows of flowers were what I wanted - I soon learned that without a full staff of gardeners coming once or twice a week from May through the end of June, it was impossible to support that kind of landscaping.


I planted long grass seed and wildflowers and every year they would reseed and come back more prolific than the year before. It is now a wild, natural setting complete with frogs and bunnies that cavort around in the yard in the morning and at dusk.


By mid- to late-July, the 5 foot tall Shasta Daisies surrounding the large back decks are in full bloom and create a magical scene in the back yard. It is the perfect setting for a bonfire and s'mores, surrounded by large, white moonlit flowers dancing in the breeze.

To combat the high desert dryness, The Log Cabin's yard has a 20 station sprinkler system which helps immensely to cool things off on hot summer days. There is an 80 foot shade-planter in the front of the house bordering the slate pathway. I also plant about 22 flower pots every year for the porch and decks.




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