Unfortunately there was not much to save from the garden that had grown into a jungle when we bought the house: it was mostly a sprawling ivy (which was home to several families of rats) and overgrown bushes. The neighbors were very happy to see that ivy disappear as it was invading their own gardens and threatening the fence.
Unfortunately there was no mature trees to save – with the exception of two fantastic Santa Rosa plum trees (one which had to be removed since its roots where eating at the house slab). We also kept one young loquat tree, which seemed to have found its way in this jungle by accident, and a couple of old pittosporum.
The plan was to build a garden of native species with low water requirements. Practicality, lack of time and budget constraints (plants are expensive!) brought in a very large lawn – which certainly did not quite fit the original goals…
So the blank canvas grew little by little, a few plants being added every weekend: lavender, Improved Meyer lemon tree (a tiny tree when I bought but so prolific all year long that I moved it with us to the next house…), Bearss Lime tree, grapefruit and clementines trees, tea trees, many types of sage and gauras, and some seasonal planting such as tomatoes and kitchen herbs. Most of these pictures are missing.