The house was built in 1902 and purchased in 1984 by David and Chris Ichord. It was a fairly plain farmhouse in great need of improvement. Neither the front or back yards were landscaped. David, being a general contractor and rather handy with all the tools of the trade, surrounded the house with the "inner fence" which encircles the sides and back of the house, separating the inner yard from the "back fourty." David and Chris owned Parkway Nursery, and Chris set to work filling the yard with unusual plants while David built decks and fences.
Within the "inner yard" called Eden, there are decks and gardens with areas named the Forest, Deepest Darkest Africa, the Walnut Area and the Pond Side. Each area has is it's own deck, flavour, climate and secluded atmosphere and comfy spot for relaxing, visiting, reading or drawing. All the fences are six foot with two more feet of lattice work, covered by vines. Only the front of the house has curtains.
Take the inner "Eden" yard tour using the stepping stones at the top of the pages.
The "back fourty" has the vegetable garden, a greenhouse and more hot driveway with citrus trees. A grand workshop/barn/garage is the studio where iron making, welding, stained glass, birdhouses and numerous other projects take place.
We are in California's central valley, an area known for its farm lands, thick tule fog and summer heat that easily soars to 110. The yard is watered by an automatic sprinkling system. The house is on a busy street with a deep lot just under a half acre and yet quite private due to trees and the inner fences that are covered with heavy vines. Containers of every kind of plant, concentrating on flowers for every season, are found everywhere. During the winter months, the forest deck trellis is covered in plastic and becomes the winter greenhouse where all the tender potted plants live. Where ever we go we look for unusual plants to the collection. A list of the plants has finally been compiled here.
It is not just the plants in the yard that attract the animals but the cool, moist, natural atmosphere. The sound of the waterfalls can be heard from every area, attracting many critters. More information about the wild life is here.
The Merced Gardens is one of our favorite local nurseries. The prices might be slightly higher than your major chain hardware stores, but the selection, quality and homey individual service cannot be beat. Angela has found us many of our specified, hard to find plants for us. Give them a try!
Merced Gardens, 1077 Tahoe St at Hwy 59, Merced, CA 95348
This garden exists because of the talents, devotion and love of Chris Ichord.
I thank you, Chris, for Eden, every day.