What happens when a husband and wife who grew up on separate continents come together to create a garden that reflects each one’s heritage?
Bay Area native Lisa Allen and her husband, Simon, who grew up in Australia, decided on a Mediterranean theme for their Noe Valley garden. It would be filled with bold, bright colors — “Matisse-style colors” — along with native plants from their home turf.
The young couple hired Deanna Glory of Deanna Glory Landscape Design, who married their two cultures and plant preferences in a vivid, dramatic garden.
“So many plants thrive both here and in Australia. There is a lot of overlap,” Glory says.
Among the project’s challenges were plentiful weeds, a rotting fence and the fact that the lot is on a downward slope from the house.
“The main purpose of the new garden was for viewing from the main living area and for entertaining,” Glory says.
Glory created a winding path of “gold fines,” decomposed granite and salmon-colored gravel.
“It’s a lovely way to experience the garden, instead of just going from point A to point B,” she says. At the bottom of the lot, there’s a 15-foot-by-15-foot patio area.
Along the way, Glory placed romantic Mediterranean and California plants like salvia, rosemary, lion’s tale and lavender. She added euphorbia, razzleberri and more grasses like stipa tenuifolia.
Glory designed and built a water feature of poured concrete and installed it into the rear seat wall of the new patio. The patio and seat walls are covered with tumbled California water-wash flagstone. The structure also has colorful tiles the Allens brought home from a trip to Italy.
A lion-head waterspout and basin the Allens purchased according to Glory’s specifications rounds out the design.
Everything flows from top to bottom in the garden. The steps to the patio are flanked with pots housing Majestic Beauty olive trees, along with honeysuckle and citrus.
Other colorful specimens include clock vine, passion flowers, salvias and geraniums. Australian natives such as Banksia prionotes, myoporum and a Happy Wanderer vine live happily among the California foliage.
The garden is a welcome sight for the Allens and an enjoyable and tranquil spot for their guests.