Evolve Spaces, Grow Joy

May 2024. By JT Wilkinson. One of our greatest joys is watching our clients become more engaged in the outdoors, many becoming horticultural experts, designers, and wildlife enthusiasts in their own right. The only thing better is watching people we adore revel in sharing their passions!

Here is a quick taste of how our 2024 garden tour hosts have evolved their original design, growing new foliage or simply growing joy.


The Schumachers

Bea and Tom Schumacher, hosts of The Garden Conservancy’s Pasadena Open Days, showcased the most mature of our tour gardens.

We enjoyed hearing people approach Bea to learn about her field of Pincushions, native to South Africa, where she spent significant time, her award-winning contained cacti displayed on the outdoor dining table, as well as her rather exceptional Dudleya.

We are always impressed with the condition of the garden as a whole – that is Tom’s pride and joy. This year, his wildflower yield wowed. His Desert Blue Bells were the tallest we’ve ever seen, and the Lanterns and Clarkia marking the boundary to the property drew gasps of wonder from attendees and docents alike. Talk about curb appeal!

Grand-daughter and the fairies created one of the most delightful of the evolutions. An at-the-ready space for al fresco tea amidst the fairies homes. We’d show you, but the fairies like their privacy!


The Forbes

Some of our client evolutions are heard as well as seen. The visual beauty of the Forbes Mountain Retreat continues to grow – as does the extraordinary birdsong.

A docent at LA’s iconic Descanso Gardens, Claudia Forbes’ maintenance requests perpetually prioritize the joy of the birds. She likes to let her sages, accent and meadow grasses go fully to seed and leaves their abundance for her feathered friends. The pollinators receive her consideration as well.

The timing of this year’s rains and the Native Plant Garden Tour itself meant the California Lilac’s were eye-popping. Yet, it was the sound that had the docents entranced. They were abuzz with bees!

During the 2022 Native Plant Garden Tour, visitors marveled at the native foliage she and her husband Doug had propagated from cuttings and from seed. This year we added significantly to the garden’s plant palette, bringing pollinator and bird supporting Beach Strawberry, among other delights.


Solberg and Pham

Each time we visit the Solberg and Pham garden, its evolved! They can completely transform the look and flow of the space without changing any of the native foliage in the ground. How?

Michael will evolve the contents or position of his wonder-inducing succulent container gardens.

Alert to party flow, Khoi completely shifted the garden’s living space furniture prior to The Garden Conservancy’s LA Open Days. By switching the location of the lounge and dining tables, the pair changed the flow and energy through the back garden. A seating area carved out of the edge of the driveway felt delightfully cozy wrapped in Michael’s well-curated and blooming succulents.
We hope you all enjoyed the tours as much as we did and had a chance to meet these delightful friends and hosts!