Jeanne Meadow's San Diego County garden—back

In part 1 of this post, I showed you the front garden of Jeanne Meadow's estate in Fallbrook north of San Diego. As beautiful as the front garden is, I think the back garden is even more stunning although the landscaped square footage is much smaller.

Looking at the back of the house through the lacy foliage of Peruvian pepper trees (Schinus molle):

Turn 180° and you see an agave-studded hillside:

Agave salmiana

The basic design of the back garden is what I would call casually structured. Several multi-tiered fountains and a variety of urns, some paired, lend a formal touch.

Oh, to be able to grow sansevierias outside all year long!

A touch of quirk and whimsy

As you look at the photos below, how many non-succulent plants do you see? Not a lot. This garden is almost 100% succulents, and yet it's anything but dull and boring.

Agave 'Sharkskin' and jade plant (Crassula ovata)

A pair of Agave guiengola in front of Beaucarnea recurvata and Euphorbia millii

Agave guiengola, plain and variegated (the latter is called 'Crème Brûlée')

Looking towards the master bedroom

Aloe striata

Agave 'Kissho Kan' and Euphorbia millii

Looking towards the patio in front of the dining room

Three of many potted arrangements on the back patio

A variety of miniature aloes in a hollowed-out rock

Caged golden rat tail cactus (Cleistocactus winteri)

Bed along the garage wall

Agave cameronii (left) and Aloidendron pillansii (right)

Agave parrasana beautifully set off by the rocks

Agave 'Blue Glow' and Agave ovatifolia

Whatever this miniature aloe it is, its color is breathtaking

Dyckia choristaminea (left) and a baby golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

Agave victoriae-reginae and Mammillaria compressa

Agave victoriae-reginae 

Aloe peglerae

Agave horrida (and a super nice Aloe dorotheae behind it)

Hechtia texensis

If you got it, flaunt it: Mangave 'Kaleidoscope'

Aloe marlothii, done flowering for the year

I wasn't able to determine what this diminutive aloe is, but I love the pure yellow flowers

Aloe marlothii

Aloe marlothii with Aloidendron barberae behind it

Aloe marlothii

In the remaining photos, pay particular attention to the rocks. I've rarely seen a garden where the rocks blend so harmoniously with the plants. In some vignettes, a succulent might be the star; in another, a rock. 

If it didn't sound so corny, I'd be tempted to say there's a respectful conversation going here between the plants and rocks.

The rock design was done by Steve McDearmon of Garden Rhythm Landscapes. Steve was at the gathering as well, and I spent quite a bit of time talking to him. He did a general overhaul of Jeanne's garden a few years ago, focusing on the removal of overgrown plants to give breathing room to the remaining succulents and create much needed negative space. Specimen rocks were added for visual interest and to offset the beauty of the plants. The crushed-rock top dressing ties everything together. 

It doesn't always have to be about the plants

Holding area for rocks waiting to be placed elsewhere

It's been two years since I visited Jeanne Meadow's garden, but I still think of those rocks...


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  1. I now have a new garden goal (which will obviously require a new garden)... I need an "agave-studded hillside"!

    That Mangave 'Kaleidoscope' is a thing of true beauty.

  2. Beautiful specimens. I've seen this garden before... looks like lots of attention to detail and ongoing care. Rocks... gotta love em. they can add so much to a garden when used well.

    1. Jeanne Meadow's been very active in a number of garden clubs and groups and hosts visitors regularly.

  3. I love the rock work and the range of plants. My husband and I looked at Fallbrook a couple years before we bought our current place. If I was as interested in succulents then as I am now, we might have made a different choice - although it is cooler here!)

    1. The advantage of Fallbrook (and rural San Diego County in general) is that you get a larger piece of property.

  4. I wonder how old the Beaucarnea is--they are quite slow. Mine has grown about a foot in a decade. (Slow is okay, I like slow.) Some of the garden seems quite new, the comment you made about some rework being done makes sense.

    Yep I must say some gorgeous rock there. The colorful mini-aloe hybrid--'Christmas Carol', maybe?

    1. The beaucarnea has got to be 15 years old so have multiple heads. Ours are 12, and the biggest of the three has a couple of heads now. (They split after each flowering.)

  5. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this fantastic garden! Beautiful pictures. I am wondering, in the 10th picture from the top with the 'Sharkskin' and jade in the foreground, are the plants in the background black or really dark green gasterias or gasteraloes? Thanks again for the post. It really brightened my day!

    1. Rachel, based on the flowers, they look like gasterias, probably G. acinacifolia.

  6. Not corny! There is definitely a conversation going on between the plants and rocks, and those are beautiful rocks at that!


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