Be prepared to be surprised and amazed with this diverse experience as you explore the variety of plants from many parts of the world at the home of Mark Muradian and Patty Miller. Granite, petrified wood, antique farming implements give an abundant expression of ‘love of nature’ to the landscape.
Begin you adventure on the drive to this wonderful find in Kings County! As you approach, the property, large colored objects lining the driveway will catch your eye. What are these unusual objects?? Perhaps some kind of watering gadgets?! Well I had to ask what they were.. They are water buoys that were in the ocean along our California shores. Mark rescued them and proudly displays them.
Mark purchased this amazing property in 1979; the beginning of the creation of the museum you see today. If you have traveled to visit botanical gardens, you will see collections of plants that are native to California and other parts of the world. Looking at the displays at this site will give you the feeling of a botanical garden, showcasing the grandeur and beauty of very mature, blooming plants! Exquisite!
Mark constructed the first raised bed in the mid '80s. Some of the plants were obtained from nurseries all over the southwest. Most of the plants are native to the Americas, with a few from Africa. There are over 100 different species. Obviously, one can just image the wonderful trips Mark and Patty have made collecting and enjoying the original location the plants and items have come from. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to see their collection in this diverse garden. The granite used to make the borders came from the Emigrant Dam built across the Kings River in 1892. These raised beds were handmade and put together with some heavy equipment.
We all are familiar with the phrases reuse and recycle. Mark and Patty are very expert in this area. Patty found tiles on the property that were stacked up with no purpose. Now there are tile walking paths, patios and barriers under their iron antique treasurers to provide protection from the wet ground. This is only one example of making good use of throw away or not used materials. This is a trait takes imagination and creativity to execute. These are characterizes of this couple! Take your time to allow your eyes to take in the magic this property has to offer.
The huge old oak tree (propped up for safety) provides interest and also holds beautifully hung objects. This grand oak also makes a great hangout for the cat. Speaking of the cat, she loves to explore with her owners and guests, as well as get up close to the spiny plants that are thriving in her back yard.
Another interesting hobby of Mark’s is enjoying the creation of his beautiful bowls and pots. He has his own kiln and produces wonderful art work. Mark and Patty have created a unique gift they love to share.