On Top Of The World: The Dudan Garden In Walnut Creek

In the flatlands where I live, gardens with dramatic views are something of a rarity. I was left pretty much speechless, as a result, by the Dudan garden in Walnut Creek. For me, the dominant features of this garden were the far off hills, stone, and water.

California Garden

It was a very hot day – this was just after we had seen the Ruth Bancroft Garden. There was perhaps a touch of grumpiness among the Flingers when we arrived. We needed to sit in the shade, drink some cold water, and eat lunch. Thanks to the excellent work of the Fling organizers, all these needs were met.

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Ahh, that’s better. Now, back to the views.

California gardens

California Gardens

In this setting, the plants had to play more of a supporting role, providing shade and softening the stone and the tan hills that surrounded us. There were low bunch grasses and flowers in meadow-like arrangements.

California gardens

Even the more dramatic plants seemed subdued, somehow.

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For me, the only thing that could really demand attention in those surroundings was water. This garden had plenty of water – water flowing down stone steps. bubbling over boulders, and forming tranquil pools. In a dry landscape, water stood out. It is just as elemental as the hills and stone.

California Gardens

California Gardens


California Gardens

california gardens

I was also struck by how much this garden was built to be a space for people to live in, not just walk through. There was space to relax and read.

California Gardens

To talk things over and consider the state of the world or our loved ones.

California Gardens

And, of course, to sit down to a meal.

California gardens

I could see having my breakfast and morning coffee out here.

California Gardens

This garden was designed and installed by BuenoLuna Landscape Design and Floradora Gardens, working with the home owners. Though it is a fundamentally different sort of garden from what I am used to, I covet it fiercely. Not perhaps my absolute favorite among the gardens I saw at the Fling, but definitely among the top three.

29 Comments on “On Top Of The World: The Dudan Garden In Walnut Creek

  1. This was a wonderful living space/garden and those views are to die for! The water really was attention grabbing. I thought it might have been a heat – induced mirage.

  2. Including the landscape and making it feel ‘yours’ is elemental to a garden and seems to be by chance when done well. The heat looks incredible, no wonder you needed a drink.

    • It was abnormally hot for that part of the world. The shade was a great relief. I really felt that the designers had taken a grand view and made the most of it.

  3. What a place! A little Eden, perched to watch the rest of the world.

    How was the edge of the pool made? Is it cut stone or cement?

  4. I cannot even imagine a view like that – what a treat. And, the water features are just a bonus to a gorgeous garden environment. Thank you for sharing. Now I need to go weed. 🙂

  5. I have to say, in retrospect, I think this may have been my favorite garden…there was something so very “right” about it…it felt so unforced and at home in that location…and, of course, I’m partial to the “meadowy” effect 🙂

  6. What a beautiful garden. I can imagine if I lived there, weeds might rapidly overtake the garden because it would be impossible to roust me from that chaise under the tree, by the fountain. What bliss. Thanks for sharing these photos.

  7. You went to the Fling!! good for you. What fun that must have been. Like you it’s flat flat flat here. I’m originally a west coast girl and I miss those hilly views dearly.

  8. Wow, Jason, now that’s a garden with a view! No high fencing, screens or trees/climbers wanted to block the view. I’d never get used to the brown landscape though, it just looks the wrong colour – it’s that wet country thing again – they have to be green!

  9. Great pictures of this garden despite the harsh shadows of noontime. And your description of the garden’s features is spot-on too. This was an amazing space, with so many fabulous places to sit, take in the view, and enjoy the garden.

  10. Pingback: DryStoneGarden » Blog Archive » The Spring Fling

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