The calla lily is one of the most recognized flowers in cultivation. There are many colors of calla lily, but the white is one of the most used and part of wedding celebrations due to its association with holiness, faith and purity. In Kansas City they can cost up to $10.00 a stem
So imagine my delight to see them growing wild in Carmel.
The first one I saw was in my own yard in a very inhospitable spot. Then I started to see them popping up along the street like weeds.
Calla lilies don’t drop petals like many other plants when their flowers are done blooming. Once the calla flower begins to die, it rolls up into a tube, often turning green on the outside.
One day as we were talking with our friend, Melissa Fletscher, she showed us a photo she had taken of a field of wild calla lilies in Garrapata State Park in Big Sur. She gets amazing photos with her phone.
The park has two miles of beach front, with coastal hiking and a 50-foot climb to a beautiful view of the Pacific.
Bill and I hiked there one day but did not get down to the trail near the parking at gate l8. This trail leads down to the beach near Doud Creek where the lilies bloom.
The park offers diverse coastal vegetation with trails running from ocean beaches into dense redwood groves. The park also features outstanding coastal headlands at Soberanes Point.
This is the area we hiked.
Sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters frequent the coastal waters and California gray whales pass close by during their yearly migration.Trails and stairs were introduced in this valley to protect these wild flowers and lilies but visitors oftentimes trample over them especially on weekends.
We are getting ready for a trip to Carmel next week and this is the time the lilies bloom.
If you would like to see some wonderful photos of Garrapata State Park. Follow this link to David Gunbernick’s site.
If you have strolled along Scenic Drive in Carmel, no doubt you have noticed this handsome home. High Tide is just outside the one square mile that is Carmel-by-the-Sea, so I have no city hall records to tell me about it.
The house combines many elements of the Storybook Style such as the wave roof and rounded doorways and windows.
The smooth stucco is a distinctively California exterior material.
The towers, eyebrow windows, ornamental chimney pots and dutch door all add to the charm.
Add a cottage garden and you have charm, charm, charm.
Such a charming ambiance. It is still the restaurant we recommend to visitors. We usually go for lunch to keep the cost down.
Bill loves the Moules Frites. Our Grandson swears the Cannelloni is fantastic. I tasted the Gnocchi Casanova on the Carmel Food Tour and believe me …….Delicious.
I love eggs and omelets and if I ask nicely, the waiter can often get the kitchen to prepare one for me.
It is located in the former home of Aunt Fairy Bird who was once the cook for Charlie Chaplin .
Take time to wander through all the different rooms.
Although I am no longer posting my elaborate posts, I still have a cache of photos from Carmel that I would love to share with you. So here goes….
From February to September, the California poppy graces California landscapes and gardens. The foliage is ferny and the bloom bold and cheerful.
It is used as a herbal remedy and the pollen was used cosmetically.
In 1903 it became the state flower of California.
This one and two-story Spanish Eclectic style home was built by English -master-craftsman Frederic Bigland. I have featured several of his houses on the blog.
The Conrad Home
And the H. Markham House
It is interesting that no relationship has been established between the two Markhams, whose homes both have a Moorish feel to them, both built by Bigland.
This stately home on two lots, turns its face in toward the courtyard.
I knock in vain at the front door
And then work my way around the house snapping shots.
Kent Seavey notes the flat roof seen over the door is associated with the Moorish influenced design of North Africa and is quite unusual in residential design.
As I walk on down the street , I can see the “paired and stepped exterior eave-all chimneys with their lancet shaped tops” that Seavey describes.
I try the lower gate which I later learn has been close off and made into a corridor with a fountain beside the guest house.
I make my way back around the east side of the house
and admire the grilled window
and succulent plantings outside the walled home.
I have noticed an arched gateway.
I tentatively knock and push the gate open.
I am now in a “hallway” leading to the courtyard.
Placed along the way is this beautiful tile
And this open-mouthed gentleman who is surprised by my presence.
Wow! What a beautiful courtyard with yet another gated court within it.
This fountain, the azaleas
And this tile
Glow against the warm stucco wall.
The garden is quiet and warm.
A guest house sits to the west of the main house, its roof covered with trumpet vine.
And plaque add character.
Everywhere I look is beauty.
I am out again and on my way pleased to have seen yet another home on the Carmel Historic Inventory.
It is the winter of 2013
Christmas has come and gone.
Deep snow covers my Kansas City garden.
I have sustained some injuries and am to use a walker for 6 more weeks. I have worn a groove in the floor between the bed and the recliner.
I NEED a project to cheer me up. I have always loved leafing through gardening books this time of year and gathering ideas for my garden. I decide that this year will be no exception. I have wanted to redesign my Carmel garden for some time now. Many of my “go to” plants for Kansas fail miserably in temperate Carmel.
We have friends in Marina who recommend Kathleen Coss (www.kathleencosslandscapedesign.com/)
so I give her a call and we chat. We are kindred spirits and start exchanging e-mails, questionnaires, plant likes and dislikes
and finally plans.
I “cut and paste” like crazy
trying to visualize the garden and we make more changes.
By April we are ready to start and I am well enough to make a trip out.
We already have a gardener and handy man that we love and he submits a bid along with others. We take his bid and are on our way with Luis Cardenas and Kathleen Coss.
We mark the plants that can stay.
Then Luis and his crew start the “heavy lifting”.
Plants come down revealing the front of our cottage for the first time in many years.
The patio beds empty out.
And debris is hauled away by the truckload.
Soil improvement comes next.
My front yard resembles a sandbox.
The City grants permission for a new fence and arbor.
Kathleen and I go shopping! We both love Griggs Nursery ( www.griggsnursery.com/ ) where they bend over backward to help us. The choices are staggering.
Then we visit the Drought Resistant Nursery in Carmel Valley.
We buy a Gopher cage for every plant we plant. Yes, every plant! Now I know why all my flowers died before. The gophers eat the roots of the plants in Carmel.
Plants start arriving.
And being placed.
May 13th we make giant strides. The stones are placed for the path and some plants have temporary homes. But I am so exposed to view now. I wave at passersby while I eat my breakfast.
Then my hedging plants arrive. We are using Pittosporum tenuifolium which Luis will tightly shear.
Kathleen is conducting the arrival and placement. She is a small package of dynamite energy.
The post goes up for my bird house.
It is looking good.
This corner is my feng shui power spot. From here I survey both my front and patio gardens and both gates. With the new changes, I don’t have a backdrop to cozy into. Maybe later.
The last touch is a gate between our garage and house to hide meters and gadgets.
Next week, I will show you some of the plants we chose.
Over the past 20 years we have made many changes to our little bungalow but none have pleased me more than the changes made in the garden.
This is the front before. The fence and gate were rickety even then but ivy covered it and we lived with it until May 2013.
What an improvement
and I adore my new arbor and gate.
Our front porch improved a bit at at time.
We planted along the straight concrete walk.
Now the path curves around a planting bed and is made of boxwood lined stones.
I like sitting in the rocker in the evening and listening to the ocean murmur.
The sellers sodded the front yard to clean it up and I tried to maintain grass over the years. It was a losing battle.
I prefer my current look of a stone path winding through shrubs, flowers and ground cover.
I have only this one photo looking toward the gate. Not much to see.
The back gate leads to this patio which was cracked concrete for many years.
Now pavers replace the concrete and form a raised planting bed
filled with colorful blooms.
The front NE corner of the garden went from this
to this. SIGH!