The moment you draw up outside Keeyla Meadows' house in a San Francisco Bay area suburb, you know that you're about to see something a little different to the conventional California garden (if there is such a concept). This property is both unique and uplifting - a riot of colour and clever planting in a tiny plot that houses this popular ceramicist's studio as well as a host of plants that we can't grow back home in the UK.
Pull up at the curb and you'll see plants spilling out into the street, beckoning you in to this extraordinary and eclectic plot reminiscent of the "Flower Power" movement all those years ago - where colour and creativity combine to give a sense of charismatic, but organised chaos. There's not an inch of space unoccupied by a plant, sculpture or decorative paving stone. But this is Keeyla's trademark.
|Keeyla Meadows in her studio in Albany CA|
This stunning small California plot reminds me of one my favourite gardens in the UK - Driftwood in Sussex, where the packed planting scheme and creative elements are an enjoyable assault on the visual senses. Keeyla is a well-established name on the San Francisco scene, both as a garden designer and ceramicist. Her work is very much in demand and after a visit to her charming home in Albany, I can see why. And if I'd had more room in my luggage going home, I'd have thought seriously about taking one of her pots with me, but as you can see from the picture here, they tend to be a little large!
Keeyla opens her garden to visitors during the spring and summer months, on the first and second Sunday of the month from 1.00 to 4.00 pm, so if you're visiting the area, you can see it for yourself - you won't be disappointed. Combine this with a visit to the Ruth Bancroft garden in Walnut Creek (to be reviewed later this month) to get a view of Californian garden creativity at its best!