Circle Oak Ranch was created by a developer in the early 1980’s from a 50-acre tract of reclaimed dairy pasture. He divided the tract into five parcels: four homesites and the 33-acre ranch. When the Malones arrived in the early 90’s, the ranch was bereft of plants, save a few ancient oaks and Eucalyptus. Sara immediately began planting, but was sidetracked by a full-time job and a complete renovation of the house. The first significant plantings were a group of olive trees in front of the house, that have now attained a wonderful gnarly maturity, complete with the burls and textured bark characteristic of this species. She began in earnest in 2005, laying out and planting the one and a half hill to the east of the house, the terraces surrounding the house and finally the areas to the south and west.
Climatic Zone: USDA 9b, Sunset Zone 15
Elevation: Approximately 100 ft above sea level, which, although a modest height, allows the marine air to reach the property, mitigating both the summer heat and winter chill somewhat. May is the windiest month; typically the winds begin in late morning and die down between 5 and 6 pm
Size of garden: approximately five acres
Age: Planted from the late 1990’s to the present
Featured plants: Primarily hardwoods and conifers, specializing in rare and unusual species and cultivars. Many large succulents, many Australian and other Southern Hemisphere species.