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Green and Green Gardens

April 9th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

Garden #2 Not to be confused with the Charles and Henry Greene of Gamble House fame, the 9th annual “Art of the Garden” tour, April 19, 2009, showcases gardens whose imaginative fusion of plant materials in an array of textures and shades of green create living compositions of art using Mother Nature’s palette, in distinction to a landscape shaped by the burgeoning Green Movement and emphasis on preservation of natural resources.

At their best, gardens are places of sanctuary and three of this year’s gardens offer a respite from the world at large and the hustle and bustle of daily lives. Shady bowers, stone grottos and sheltering Oaks offer a still haven, while garden gates and narrow winding paths invite you to explore the landscape beyond your view as unseen vistas and secret gardens open up to the inquisitive visitor. Gardens are also places for family and friends to gather and these landscapes have been designed with entertaining in mind. Outdoor kitchens set the stage for al fresco dining and fireplaces warm patios and allow conversations to continue as the sun sets and the evenings cool. Pools, spas and tennis courts provide relaxation and recreation.

Water is one of our most precious resources, especially in this arid Southern California climate. Green gardening is a way to minimize our reliance on water without sacrificing the greenscape that softens and enhances our homes. It can be achieved in a number of ways: composting, the use of drought-tolerant plants or, as one homeowner boldly chose, a synthetic lawn. This is not the Astroturf of the 1960s, however. This lawn looks and feels as close to the real thing as humans can create. Combined with a desert patio garden of cacti and succulents, this turf needs no water, no mowing, no weeding. Natural plant materials, flowering shrubs and trees are used as accents to this vast expanse of lawn. Solar panels supply 40-50% of the energy used to power this home.

Creative Arts Group is proud to present four exemplary gardens showcasing the work of our most talented landscape architects and designers. We wish to thank homeowners Rary Simmons, James and Jeanette Mamakos, Anthony and Teresa Clougherty, and Mark and Amanda Holdsworth. For tickets and more information visit Creative Arts Group at 108 N. Baldwin Ave. in Sierra Madre or call (626) 355-8350.

By: Donna Packer

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