A standout garden on the recent Tahoe Park Garden Tour

The Tahoe Park neighborhood in Sacramento recently held their 4th annual garden tour. My wife and I visited about half of the 11 participating gardens. My favorite overall was my friend Kyle’s garden – you’ve seen me post about it repeatedly. Another standout was the home of a local artist. The moment I saw the gate in the front yard, I knew that this was no ordinary space:

Usually, gates are utilitarian at best and rarely elicit wows. But this one did. Just look at the details in the gate and the fence:

It turns out the homeowner, Debra, designed the gate and fence herself. The fence around our front yard looks utterly pedestrian in comparison – because it is.

Who says driveways and garages are for cars? Debra clearly doesn’t. She has transformed her driveway into an outdoor lounge space:

Walking into the backyard proper, one of the first things I noticed was the art on the walls.

Every square inch of wall space is occupied with pieces Debra made out of recycled and repurposed materials:

Debra’s backyard is fairly small, but there’s so much to see that it seems much larger.

There’s plenty of seating in several distinct “rooms:”

And art wherever you look, most (if not all) of it made by Debra herself:

Many gardens on the tour had water and nibbles for visitors. Debra went beyond, offering homemade limeade as well as red and white wine!

I was very tempted to try this local Petite Sirah, but it wasn’t even noon yet. So I opted for limeade instead.

My favorite area in Debra’s backyard was the covered deck off the living room:

A daybed!

And look at the ceiling details, including an open skylight draped with fabric:

Debra’s garden has been 32 years in the making, and the love and attention she has poured into it shows at every turn. While this is an intensely personal space, it’s just as inviting to visitors. I’m sure many wonderful get-togethers have been hosted here over the years.

© Gerhard Bock, 2024. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Not only is that garden interesting with all the art pieces, it looks like it was made for lounging outside. I'm envious!

  2. Very creative lady! She's hand-crafted a great place for a family get-together.

  3. I love everything about this garden. One of my favorites you have taken us to. The best to me is the outdoor lounge area where it looks like it is possibles to really relax and not be noticing all the work that needs doing in the rest of the garden! My dream!

  4. Wow, that gate IS really special, right at the start! And all the art pieces are amazing. What a great place to hang out! Thanks for sharing.

  5. How lovely and fun! I'm really sorry I missed this garden tour!

  6. Wow! This is a very inviting garden, with so many spaces to lounge and relax it could discourage one from getting anything done... but apparently not Debra! I love her creative up cycling of natural objects, wood, metal, ceramics and the like. Very inspirational.

  7. I wish the designer's/artist's eye came more naturally to me. This is magnificent. A great inspirational post as we contemplate renovating a couple sheds in our yard to something less pedestrian.

    1. I also struggle coming up with original ideas. That's why I love it when I come across a garden that is truly inspiring.


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