While I post many photos of our garden, both in the front and back, it may be difficult for those of you who haven’t visited us to figure out exactly what the layout of our property is. Fortunately, Google Earth provides satellite imagery that is extremely useful for this purpose. All of the images below were captured with Google Earth Pro (download for free from here if you don’t have it yet). All rights to these images remain with Google and the various image providers.
This image shows all of Davis, CA. The road bisecting the town is Interstate 80. Sacramento is 15 miles to the east (right), San Francisco 70 miles to the west (left). The red arrow indicates the approximate location of our house.
Moving in closer, you can see that we’re very close to the edge of town. The fields in the foreground are outside the city limits and in another county.
Moving in closer…
At this level of magnification the image takes on a computer-generated look, especially the trees.
This is the most current image available on Google Earth. It predates March 2014 because the pittosporum hedge is still there (bottom).
Google Earth also offers historic imagery. This is a fun way to see what your property looked like in the past. For Davis, images before 2005 were too low-resolution to be useful. The first image below is from 2005.
2005: This is the original house we bought in 1997. The backyard (on the right) is in the shade, but you can clearly see the front lawn. At the 11:30 position you can see the purple plum in bloom (removed in September 2013) so this image must have been captured in early March.
2010: The first useful image I found that shows the house after the 2006 remodel. The front lawn is smaller now and bordered by a 4 ft. fence. Both inside and outside the fence are planting strips. The Bradford pear in the front yard (9:30 position) has been removed, but the ornamental pear (10:30 position) is still there. (Side note: Our neighbors across the street have removed the front lawn and replaced it with drought-tolerant plantings.)
2011: The greenery outside the front yard fence has grown. The Bradford pear has been replaced with a clumping timber bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii) outside the fence and two additional bamboos (Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ and Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata) inside the fence. The backyard is virtually invisible because of the four bay trees planted along the property line.
2013: The bamboos in the front yard are much larger now.
Back to 2014. Here is the same image you saw above, but this time with callouts identifying the most prominent features of the landscaping. This should help you figure out where things are when I refer to them in my posts.
And finally a couple of flyover videos I created from Google Earth. Click “Watch on YouTube” for best results:
I hope that now you have a better idea of the lay of the land.
Check out your own house on Google Earth if you haven’t already. It’s fun!