Hughes Family Garden History

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Garden History

The idea for our garden occurred during a visit to the Wild Garden section of the Bodnant Garden, which is near Betws-y-coed, Wales, (which is in the Snowdonia National Park.) We enjoyed the created natural feel and we were convinced that this was a perfect model for a California garden. So in looking for land in 1987 to build our home, one of the critical features of the property was that it must have a gully that could be transformed into a natural garden. We found the land in the Santa Rosa Valley of Ventura County.

Gayle and Jenny celebrating purchase of lot
Gayle and Jenny celebrating purchase of lot
Gully with Native Trees
Gully with Native Trees
Just Weeds
Just weeds where we'll build the house
Panaroma 1 View 1
Panaroma 1 View 1
Panaroma 1 View 2
Panaroma 1 View 2
Panaroma 1 View 3
Panaroma 1 View 3
Panaroma 1 View 4
Panaroma 1 View 4
Panaroma 2 View 1
Panaroma 2 View 1
Panaroma 2 View 2
Panaroma 2 View 2
View across future home site
View across future home site
Michael's Parents
Michael's Parents
Honey Grandma w/Jenny
Honey Grandma w/Jenny

The property was first graded in 1989 as the seller had included grading in the price we'd had paid.

Grading Starts
Grading Starts
Jenny Giving Directions
Jenny Giving Directions
Papa Campbell w/Jenny
Papa Campbell w/Jenny

We did our the final grading in July of 1990 after we had developed a plan to minimize the impact to the back part of the property. It was our plan to use the existing native trees as part of the garden. Unfortunately, the grader next door removed some of the native trees along the boarder of the property. We asked them not to remove any more.

Jenny taking over
Jenny taking over
Final Grading 1
Final Grading 1
Final Grading 2
Final Grading 2

Unfortunately, in September 1990 we caught them pushing a large amount of boulders and dirt down across our property which wiped out about half the native bushes and all but one tree.

Caught in the Act
Caught in The Act
Lots more dirt
Lots more dirt
Starting the Entry Trail
Starting the Entry Trail

We finished construction of our home in early 1991 and had a largely bare piece of property. There were just a few native bushes and one tree toward the back of the property, plus some plants we'd gotten at an earthday celebration in 1990 in Moorpark.

Bare Gully
Bare Gully
View from Back Forty
View from Back Forty
Remaining Native Plants
Remaining Native Plants