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Inspiring Gardens

Designing your garden is an ongoing process of ideas that take bloom and some that never really take root. Ideas on what to plant and where and when can be inspired by the gardens of others, which is why events like the recently held Turlock Garden Club’s tour of gardens can be such a worthwhile activity for gardening enthusiasts.

The tour featured six landscapes at five homes around Turlock, all with unique properties and designs. The one characteristic all the gardens shared were that all of them were created by homeowners who wanted to make their spaces truly their own. 

Jim and Carol Jensen

Jim and Carol Jensen have created their ideal yard by mixing art into their landscape, making for a multitude of bright colors. Carol Jensen painted a vibrant mural along the fence making for a brilliant centerpiece.

Robert and Gail Frost

Robert and Gail Frost decided two minds were better than one when it came to the backyard of their ranch home and designed a his and hers gardens. Gail Frost used her space to create a cottage-style garden using a method she laughingly described as “plant and run and hope it lives.” The centerpiece of her garden is a boxwood mace with a hummingbird topiary in the center. She created it by allowing boxwood to grow up and around a metal frame of a hummingbird her husband built. The whimsy side of the yard features a bounty of perennial flowers in bloom during spring and summer, established fruit trees, and a playhouse for their granddaughter. 

For his side, Robert Frost created a western motif complete with an electric train running over trestles, through tunnels and around the town and station. 

Renae and Sammy Estrada

When Renae and Sammy Estrada moved into their craftsman style home in 2010, they knew they needed to make the backyard kid-friendly for their two young ones. That meant taking out a large pond with connecting streams and about 20 pine trees. They left the slope of the yard, the lush ferns, succulents, flowers and the towering Redwoods, which gives it a feeling of being out in a forest, rather than a backyard. The couple put in a large pavilion or entertaining or just relaxing in the evenings. But if you ask the children, the best feature of the yard is the rustic-themed playhouse.

“We got it used and carried it over in pieces,” said Renae Estrada. “The kids love it.”

John and Michelle Machado

Guests to John and Michelle Machado’s modern Mediterranean home are welcomed in by a decorative circular drive surrounded by a lush lawn and plantings in the front yard. The backyard is filled with a variety of trees and shrubs, and a large backyard yurt that offers a place to relax and entertain. 

“We get the whole family out there and have a blast,” said Michelle Machado.

Michelle Machado’s absolute pride are her rows and rows of Dahlias, which she began growing about five years ago and now shows.