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Master Gardener creates her own private paradise
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ROSE ALBANO RISSO/Bulletin correspondent This fragrant climbing rose is one of the first things that greet visitors to Carol Bone’s home in Woodbridge by Del Webb in Manteca.

At the end of Maple Hill cul-de-sac in Manteca’s Woodbridge at Del Webb is a dream come true.

“Time began in a garden,” reads the framed message that encapsulates the private paradise created by master gardener Carol Bone.

For this particular home garden, time began just six years ago. That’s when Bone moved from Raymus Village east of Highway 99 where she lived for three decades to the Del Webb at Woodbridge community on North Union Road just about a mile or two to the west.

The garden is like a seamless garment that wraps itself around the house. And fragrant flowers abound, their sweet smell greeting visitors at the home’s low iron gates. But that’s just a prelude of more to come. Arranged like a feng shui, the carefully selected plant varieties that populate the long side yards and spacious back yard are a feast for the senses.

The visual feast is especially hard to ignore and is evident at every turn. The front of the house is suffused with climbing roses and trumpet tulip in full bloom. Along the running metal fence bordering the home’s front courtyard facing the cul-de-sac are tall irises in various colors. They are of the variety that blooms more than once throughout the year.

“This is my first try at tall bearded iris. My mother used to raise them when I was little,” explained Bone who is a Master Gardener.

Joining the irises are drought tolerant plants which practically replaced what would have been a front lawn.

The Secret Garden

One may ask, where does all the water that keeps everything lush come from? Well, it’s beneath the “talking heads” in a section on the east side of the home that Bone calls “my Secret Garden.” Beneath the box where Bone arranged a grouping of “head” planters are the sprinkle controls.

Just a few feet away, facing a seating nook just outside a side door, is a waterfall feature propped against the wall, its soothing sounds serenading potted succulents adorning the patio posts. This quiet corner is a favorite of Bone where she spends the early mornings admiring the gifts of Mother Nature, among other things.

The access to the Secret Garden is a trellis covered with purple wisteria. Unfortunately, the wisteria’s peak bloom is over. The good news, though, is the passion flower climbing up against the wall on this side of the house is getting ready to bloom with buds already coming out.


backyard “jungle”

Dominating the spacious back yard is a pool that Bone calls “my jungle.” To create this backdrop effect, Bone planted dwarf date palms against the fence. The shallow pool is well used in the summer when the mercury hits triple degrees.

At the bottom of the pool is a yellow tile pineapple. There’s a specific reason for that. It means hospitality, Bone explained.

“This is my dream house,” added the former resource specialist who retired 13 years ago on her 55th birthday.

Making her new home and garden even more special are plants that she took with her when she moved out of Raymus Village. The calla lilies now blooming profusely in her back yard came from her mother, for example, as well as a lilac bush and an orange tree.

The above are just a few of the many attractions, both hidden and in plain sight, found in Bone’s private Eden. But one “secret” that she allowed to reveal is the role of a rural mailbox in the back porch. She laughed as she opened the mailbox and took out a number of gardening tools. She came up with this idea so she doesn’t have to fetch these things in the garage whenever she needed them, she said laughing.

The Bone home is one of six homes featured in the annual Manteca Garden Tour set for Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tour tickets are available at the following local businesses:

Rain Forest Nursery on West Yosemite Avenue

Tipton’s Stationery & Gifts in downtown Manteca (corner Yosemite Avenue and Maple Street)

New York Diamonds in the Walmart commercial center (South Main Street and Mission Avenue)

German Glas Werks in downtown Manteca, (corner Yosemite and Main)

Sadie’s Salon, East Yosemite Avenue across from Manteca High

Ed’s Rockery on East Lathrop Road (on the east end of the Lathrop Road Highway 99 overcrossing)

Silverado Nursery on Stockton Avenue in Ripon

Park Greenhouse on West Ripon Road in Ripon

Delicato Family Vineyards, Highway 99 Frontage Road (west side of the freeway)

Manteca Senior Center, Cherry Lane just behind City Hall.

A brochure showing the garden locations will be available when you purchase a ticket.

Refreshments will be available at the last house featured in the tour where door prizes will be given away to lucky visitors.

For more information, visit the group’s website at You may also contact them at P.O. Box 23, Manteca, CA 95336.