James and I had different plans for our garden tours: he was devoting the entire day and I thought he would poop out after a few and we'd spend three or so hours garden viewing. We ended up touring gardens for almost six hours; including driving time.
Having worked on our gardens for a while we knew a lot of the plants we liked and that like to grow in our garden. But going to see gardens is a bit like going to a jewelry store. You can go looking for a ruby ring and that's step one. Step two is how it is set and what other gems might be paired with it.
It really seems to be sort of the same thing with natives like ceanothus (california lilac). The Monarch probably was having a feast in this Altadena garden.
Here are some approaches to growing Flannelbush a long a fence.
Will your choice be free form or semi-espaliered.
You love the color of poppies but don't want them to choke the rest of your plants. Let them spread out all they want along a wall. Put some stone in front of them and you have a border that feels more natural than brick and mortar. They shine and the setting doesn't take away from their glory.
If you are into vermiculture, you need a place to keep worms and worm casings. Here's a tiny shed to keep the temperature just right. Were it not a trip to our neighbor's garden, I would never have thought about this.