• Tim and Barbara’s ‘ideal’ Foothill garden: One year later

    by  • June 14, 2013 • Garden, landscaping

    Tim and Barbara’s garden, one year later

    If you remember, Tim and Barbara Fruehe of Oakhurst, CA, renovated their entire front and back gardens, installing drip irrigation, gravel paths, garden benches and iron arbors.  It was a huge undertaking, but Tim had it all thought out and he and Barbara knew what they wanted, an eay care garden with paths and interesting features, filled with colorful plants suited to our area here in the Sierra foothills.  When they came into the nursery with their plant list, I was very impressed with their choices.  I knew they’d have success with this list.   And they did, as you will see in this update.


    Here is the before, shortly after the plants were installed.

    Before, the bones of the garden.

    Before, the bones of the garden


    Before...the newly planted 1 gallon plants.

    Before…the newly planted garden, mostly from one gallon plants

    After, one year later

    I visited the garden exactly one year later and was so happy for this couple, realizing that they had certainly exceeded all their expectations for a beautiful and enjoyable garden, one that was also easy care and easily maintained on little water.

    Tim and Barbara in their 1 year old garden

    Tim and Barbara in their 1 year old garden

    We all agreed that now, we were seeing the plants, like penstemon, Blanket Flower and hummingbird mint in their ideal peak of growth.

    Beautiful view of the strolling garden

    Beautiful view of the strolling garden…the wood fence on the right disguises the propane tank beautifully.

    We commented that Tim had thought ahead and hadn’t planted things too closely, avoiding an over crowded look.  Tim does the main construction and keeps an eye on the drip system and Barbara decorates and fills in the details, with bird baths, and garden art.  She also plants the containers on the deck, changing them with the seasons.

    Perennials fill in the rock-lined beds

    Colorful and interesting perennials fill in the rock-lined beds

    Tim says they have the drip system set to go on every two days for about 20 minutes.

    Penstemon, catmint, gaura,salvia and coreopsis

    Penstemon, catmint, gaura, salvia and coreopsis shine in the afternoon sun


    Full grown perennials after just one year.

    Full grown perennials after just one year

    Yearly maintenance will only be trimming the perennials, cutting each, as you would trimming lavender, to give them a rounded full shape.  Tim and Barbara have deer browsing nearby like many of us, and these plants are obviously not on their menu.  For a full list of plants, see the link below.


    Dark blue pentemon and coreopsis contrast well.

    Dark blue penstemon and coreopsis contrast well


    Rock edgings and flagstone paths.

    Rock edgings and flagstone paths


    Golf course view past the iron arbor

    Golf course view past the iron arbor, freshly painted by Barbara and soon to be covered in honeysuckle.

    Birds, bees and butterflies have returned to the garden, filling the birdbaths and bird houses with life.


    Tim and Barbara can view their garden from their deck.

    Tim and Barbara can view their garden from their deck. This view also shows the seating area around the fire pit a place to entertain and enjoy the garden.


    To catch up on the garden reno, see this:

    Tim and Barbara’s Carefree Artist Garden

    An ideal plant list for a new Sierra foothill garden

    Barbara’s hand-crafted garden


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.