Creating an Italian Garden

It Started Ten Months Ago

After my return from the Positano Italy trip during October 2019, moving from Placerville became the priority, as planned. We need a more manageable home and yard. Luckily our realtor, Scott Derkson, projected our path quickly to find a 55+ community and lovely home in El Dorado Hills.  There followed a month or more of trips to and from home for realty matters, discard of household goods, packing and repacking and searching for suppliers to help with the move and storage of goods before the move.  It was March 25 before we set foot in what was now our property and more months would be taken up settling in, unpacking, organizing and downsizing to our 1712 square feet vs. 2300.  Thanks to many helping hands who got us there.  We added cabinets to the kitchen and found a place for almost every accessory and furniture item kept before turning our attention to the backyard, which was now our responsibility to construct.  We will leave comments about the front yard which the Home Owners Assoc. (HOA) maintains for another story.
Click on pix to enlarge, and view as gallery.

Months evaporated again while laboriously researching and selecting plants, finalizing the design, and waiting for the HOA to approve our yard design.  It was also some doing to convince the landscaper we hired to address the rock that appeared to be submerged like an iceberg in the middle of the yard.  They had to bring in the big gun, and hammer out a mountain of boulders which had to be removed.  I insisted they be replaced with 35 yards of good planting soil, which I further enhanced with gypsum, peat, alfalfa meal, and soil conditioner.  The crew (Edgar, Juan, Pedro and Gabriel)  was anxious to please and so happy in their work it was a pleasure to watch their efforts. 

The next challenge was buying and selecting plants and Green Acres was happy to assist and deliver.  The fountain created the next hurdle. Chosen months ago and held for delivery, as time came for installation, we learned that the 6-800 lb. monument would be simply left on the curb. Getting it into position was our problem. No installers could be found, or for less than the fountain cost, anyway. Rock Guru and saint of saving the day Steve Brown rose to the chore and with the help of another, lifted the Italian monument over the fence and into position with his huge equipment.  Lots of breath holding and no end of thankfulness.

No, we are not done with challenges. Since the HOA didn’t like our first choice of patio covers, our landscaper came to the rescue with “Duralum”, an aluminum cover looking like wood that gave a good amount of shade to the east and west facing yard.

New patio cover added to “loggia” stucco cover outside back door.   So, after all that here are a few shots of the finished Italian Garden.  Click on pix to enlarge and view as gallery.


Custom shed built after yard was finished, sized to HOA specs no taller than 6′ fence. Note the quatrefoil Italian design present in the turf, and many other places inside and out.
And of course the shed had to have a window, a flower box, a birdhouse and all the trappings.

5 replies »

  1. Loved the article and the pictures. That Italian Garden of absolutely gorgeous! You deserve a star for the planning and planting!
    Look forward to seeing it in person.


  2. Wow, Betty!! From nothing to authentic Italian. Just wonderful and exquisite, too. That was a major move for you two. Congratulations on your new abode. Exciting.


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