Garden of the Month: A mini-forest in Modesto

06/06/2014 12:00 AM

06/05/2014 3:14 PM

Chris and Diane Sciaroni saw the forest for the trees – and then had it planted in their Modesto front yard.

The couple, who grew tired of the average, boring lawn landscape in their yard at 2208 Dana Lane, hired a landscaper to help them design a miniature forest for their corner-lot home.

The efforts garnered the yard and couple Garden of the Month honors for June from the Modesto Garden Club.

According to a release from the garden club, Chris Sciaroni wanted something a little different for the couple’s front yard, so about five years ago, he had a landscape designer come up with the miniature forest plan, which includes about 130 plants of 21 varieties.

Each of the plants was geared to add something in the way of color, texture, height or shape to the garden, which also was planted with the changing seasons in mind.

“The garden is all about color, and the color changes with the seasons,” the garden club release says. “There are red maples, purple fringe flower, purple hopseed bush, several types of nandina, and Wichita blue juniper. The soft gray green of Little Ollies makes a good contrast to the brighter colored plants, and the yellows of variegated pittosporum just makes all the colors pop.”

Because the yard is on a corner lot, the mini-forest flows and presents views on both the Dana Lane front and Charles Avenue side. The corner is anchored by an arbutus with a red multi-trunk.

Another feature in the front yard is a Blue Atlas Cedar, which is just starting to show itself on a trellis, according to the garden club.

Chris Sciaroni told the garden club that space between the plants lets the air flow through and also provides area to walk between the plants for maintenance – and, of course, to get lost in its mini-forest pleasures.

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