Cathy's and Anne's Gardens
Master Gardeners Cathy Williamson and Anne Brewer are two very skilled and experienced gardeners who have created extensive and magical garden environments on the Eastside of Sonoma. Both of these locations will stun visitors when they experience them on June 8th.
Cathy’s passion is edible landscaping and the outdoor entertaining area overflows with vegetables and herbs to use in the pizza oven in summer. Enough fruit is harvested to share with friends and preserve for winter. A vertical succulent garden was created by stuffing cuttings into a dry-stack stone wall.
Water conservation was also a priority. The greenhouse is watered in winter by rainwater collected from the roof. And overflow from the pond is used to fill a storage tank for the lower part of the property. Floating islands made from recycled plastic are planted with aquatic species to help filter the pond water and provide wildlife habitat.
The overall visual effect is of a mature woodland garden, layered in form and shape, with a broad palette of color under a shady oak canopy. Behind the scenes, the garden is a water conscious, sustainable landscape and wildlife refuge that is congruent with the
When Anne Brewer and her husband Ray Jackson built their home and made their garden on the eastern outskirts of the town of Sonoma, the sunset was their inspiration for both the design and colors. The property’s dominant feature is a blazing western exposure, and the couple chose to capitalize on the fiery palette by selecting a warm ochre tone for the stucco and selecting the plantings accordingly.
Because they are so aware of the maintenance issues, low-care shrubs form the backbone of the plantings and provide structure and interest year-round. Anne is a self-confessed color fanatic and her deft eye shows; the plants flow together in pleasing combinations that play off the warm color of the house walls. She chose many of the plants in leaf and flower tones close to the ochre, and then punctuated with complementary deep blues and purples to provide eye-catching vignettes evocative of the late afternoon shadows. Her love of color is rivaled by her love of unusual and
In addition to the extensive ornamental garden there is a vegetable garden just outside the kitchen door, where the raised beds and trellises provide fresh produce for the table. The garden also features numerous succulents in containers on the terrace, enjoying the reflected heat from the stone. A table is perfectly situated under an arbor thick with wild grape vines that provide deep, dense shade on the hottest days. On the few days of the year that the weather forces Anne and Ray inside, there is still plenty of garden to enjoy: