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Country Cottage Gardens

The owners of this country garden try to live by a garden checklist: grow what you love, laugh at aphids, eat the best berries, listen to the birds, play in the dirt, nap in the shade.

Betty Koufos-Conway and her husband, Bob, have created multiple gardens that are a haven to birds, butterflies and bees. Master Gardener Betty began the project 13 years ago, creating a front yard of mainly drought- tolerant plants, shrubs and flowers. In the backyard a permeable brick pathway leads to several different areas, including shade gardens of ferns, azaleas, begonias, cyclamen and primrose under large redwoods and oaks. They are covered in cobbles and feature dry creek beds. There is also a small fish pond and waterfall, a gazebo surrounded by Lady Banks roses, fruit trees and a redwood grove.

Three vegetable garden areas include one with raised beds and welded trellis, another brick stepped planter bed of strawberries, and a row of barrels with tomatoes, eggplant and tomatillos. A galvanized livestock trough is filled with basil and annuals. There are also vinyl raised planters covered with shade cloth used for growing lettuce and a greenhouse for starting seedlings. Another row of barrels contains squash and pumpkins.

The owners love garden art. Look for an old bike painted blue, a clawfoot tub/planter, a bistro table with a candelabra above it, an old plow, bird houses, bird feeders and bird baths throughout, as well as copper snails, concrete/ceramic mushrooms, a frog made from car parts, statues, concrete cats, metal birds and many other hidden treasures.

Betty and her husband have maintained the gardens alone. A drip/mister system, which took her years to install, waters the gardens. Even before the drought, the gardens were planned to use as little water as possible. Enjoy your walk in a Little Eden!  

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