Kyle Johnson's ever-changing fusion garden

Like Dave Roberts, Kyle Johnson recently opened his garden to fellow members of the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society (SCSS). As you may remember from my previous posts about Kyle’s garden (July 2022 | December 2022 | February 2023), he’s a very active gardener, constantly tweaking and refining, swapping out plants, and generally adding more rocks. 

Kyle’s affinity for rocks – he’s a geologist by profession – is contagious: He’s the catalyst for my own Rock Enlightenment, inspiring me to add more rocks to my own garden. I’ve only known Kyle for a year, but with his unflagging energy and tireless passion for gardening and plants, he’s nudged me onto a path I might not have taken otherwise.

Kyle’s front yard may still be unfinished, but he’s made tremendous progress. Look at this photo taken on June 3, 2023...

...and compare it with what the front yard looked like five years ago when Kyle and his wife moved in:

A closer look at the front yard:

There’s still a bit of lawn left in the front yard, but I bet its days are numbered.

Walking into the backyard, I noticed that Kyle’s 1946 Ford pickup had a different cargo this time: plants for sale! I hope at least some SCSS members jumped at this opportunity; the plants were bargain-priced.

Kyle’s backyard was pristine: no weeds, no bags of fertilizers, not even gardening tools in sight. He’s set the bar high for future SCSS garden visits.

I love this old Mexican mirror and want to do something similar. I’ve already started to look for one...

One of the focal points in the backyard is the covered patio off the living room. It’s a great spot to sit and enjoy the garden.

Flowering Epiphyllum hybrid

Mammillaria gracilis ’Fragilis’ staged to perfection

Euphorbia canariensis complemented by a pretty spectacular chunk of rock

Framed view from the patio

If you thought Kyle’s garden was all about succulents, take a look at this:

There are plenty of perennials, as well as annuals and edibles. Except for some reason, my camera wanted to focus on the succulents:

The shed in the far corner attracted everybody’s attention. Kyle built it for his wife from a kit. And yeah, it’s every bit as nice as these photos suggest.

“Before” photos are fun, so here’s another one:

This photo was taken in late January 2023

Same view in early June 2023, just four months later

They say a garden is never finished, and Kyle’s garden is living proof. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.

© Gerhard Bock, 2023. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Rocks grow great here in Phoenix! I have some but I think I need more! Beautiful garden!

  2. Kyle has a wonderful eye for design. The back garden is a jewel: perfection anyplace you set your eyes on. It's hard to believe this garden is only 5 years old.
    In photo 14, Salvia 'hot lips'(?) blooms echoes the red and white in the salvaged sign on the fence. Ordinarily, I'd think it's a happy accident, but probably not in this garden.
    I developed a strong 'shed-envy' seeing that fabulous shed...

  3. Great photos! Even though I visited on open garden , I missed some details, am impressed with this garden & Kyles efforts & success….an inspiration for all gardeners. Thanx

  4. It's a beautiful garden. I love the mingling with "soft" plants. Every time you show photos of Kyle's garden, I want more rocks. The she-shed is wonderful too.

  5. Such a beautiful space, the framed pathway photo is so nice. His layout of the beds/pathways are stupendous. And the last 2 photos, just taken in January! He doesn't rest. We would all love a shed like that one.


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