Gary Walker’s Personal Gardens
Villa Floreal at Oak Creek
The following pictures were taken at my gardens at 3007 Felicita Road, Escondido, CA 92029, located at the south end of Felicita County Park, which is a classic woodland/riparian garden located in north San Diego County.
Adjacent to a spectacular 55 acre old growth county park, the two plus acres at Oak Creek feature a year round creek replete with numerous dams, bridges, waterfalls, statues and dozens of bird houses, all under a canopy of towering native Oaks, Sycamores, Alders and Willow trees which are interspersed with countless flowering specimen trees.
Each of the six garden rooms has its own unique character and style, from the fern and palm laden rainforest to the sun drenched, flower filled meadow, to the boulder strewn rock garden and up to the Pine forest, over eighty feet above creek level.
Featured in numerous magazines, the gardens are listed with the Garden Conservancy’s national registry of the country’s best gardens and was the recipient of the Grand Prize in San Diego Home and Garden’s, annual Gardens of The Year contest, in 2002. Over the years, many garden clubs, organizations and school classrooms, representing thousands of visitors, have toured the gardens.
‘Over a period of more than fourteen years since 1998, (over 9,000 hours of my labor) and on a daily basis with few breaks, I personally evolved the gardens to what they currently are, when the gardens were begun in earnest, they have undergone many changes. At Nature’s hand and at different seasons, the gardens have been subjected to destructive freezing temperatures in the 15-20 degree range and bone dry 100 plus temps; fierce Santa Ana windstorms that sheared off the top portions of 150 foot tall native Sycamore trees; ravaging, once a century massive floods that did extensive damage to several of the lower gardens and the crushing firestorms that made national news in 2007 that came extremely close and dropped huge amounts of suffocating ash. Through it all and with vigilant stewardship, the gardens have survived and thrived in what I like to refer to as ‘Evolution Gardening.’ I like to think that I take a mathematical approach to gardening as well, because I’m always adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing plants in my gardens.
‘Visual Valium’ is the term I’ve coined for the peaceful and relaxing feel I get whenever I’m out in my gardens working with and for Mother Nature. It is my hope that you get a shot of ‘Visual Valium’ as you take a virtual walk through my gardens.
Flower filled meadow with Gary the Gardener.
Creek photo from bridge with Yellow Water Iris, Weeping Willow, waterfall, very tall palms, and trees in background. Birdhouse.
Meadow path with red and pink Geraniums in foreground and 80 foot Washingtonia Robusta Palms in background.
Granite boulder with Pink Pellargonium Geranium on top, White Westringia at bottom, and Engelman Oak in background.
Joseph’s Coat Rose with creek in background.
Bridge over creek with White African Daisies and Blue Iris in foreground, with large Oaks in background.
Flower filled meadow featuring Blue Geranium, Orange California Poppies, Lilac shrubs, Yellow Artotis, with White Rock Rose.
Pink Epiphyllum in Rainforest. Classic Goddess of exotic flowers.
Yellow Datura in Rainforest.
Blue Iris with Sycamore tree reflected in creek at waterfall.
Rock wall at creek featuring White African Daisy, Blue Iris, and Hedera Ivy in background.
Entry arch to meadow with white birdhouse and Baileyana Acacia in background.
Creek with Canary Island Palm.
Creek with Ivy and various trees in background.
Meadow with Euryops Daisy, Echium, Purple Wisteria and birdhouse.
Natural pathway in meadow.
White flower arch at steps.
Red Roses with Coast Live Oak.
Yellow Arctotis with Red Rose and Purple Scabiosa.
Red Roses, Yellow Arctotis, White Mums, and Oak Tree.
Purple Bearded Iris with Pink Queen Elizabeth Rose at
Blue Iris at creek with reflections.
Granite boulders at rock garden with Oaks in background.
Meadow path bordered with rocks.
Blue Iris at creek with reflections of Sycamore trees.
Natures fury: creek floods gardens and exposes roots to 120 foot tall Sycamore trees.
More storm damage: subsiding creek reveals extensive damage to Bamboo forest.
White statue is all that remains of destroyed Italian garden. 100 pound Oak and iron bench washed downstream by powerful water surge.
Subsiding creek reveals extensive damage to trees, shrubs, and flowers..
Broken bench and destroyed bridge 1000 pound bridge!
Flood damage leaves two feet of silt behind.
1000 pound broken bridge washed downstream like a toothpick creates log jam.
Garden Fairies abound at Villa Floreal.
Pet Lions flank flowered bench.
Garden Goddess sowing the seeds of renewal and fertility. The Goddess of Tranquility.
Garden Goddess surrounded by numerous trees and flowers.
One of the many waterfalls that create beautiful visual and auditory sensations.
Reclining Buddha surrounded by tropical foliage, featuring Ginger, Acanthus, and Ferns.
Oriental bird bath.
Looking down from rock garden toward creek with three Cypress trees in foreground and Purple Leaf Plums in background.
Grecian Goddess that survived the Great Flood. (see flood pictures above) Two heads are better than one.
Bridge over creek with blue stained glass lamp. Stone Face with Spyder Plant and Variegated Ginger.
Double Delight Rose in full, glorius bloom. These are the best smelling roses ever!
Pink Bilbergia with Spyder Plant.
Pink Camellia with Phoenix Canary Palm in background.
Hundred and fifty foot tall Sycamore Tree, with eighty foot tall Fan Palms in background.
Gigantic Sycamore with Palm Trees, Oak Trees, and Poplar Trees in background.
Gypsy woman with Tambourine. Classic Italian fountain.
Colorful Parrot in rain forest.
One of the many fountains at Villa Floreal.
More statuary. Garden Fairy sitting in Coast Live Oak with Ivy.
More bird condos. Garden statue in front of Scrub Oak.
Red Moose walking through Sword Ferns.
One of the many birds that inhabit the rain forest.
Buddha in Bamboo.
Sunny faces abound in the gardens.
One of many bird houses that host House Wrens every spring.