Articles, Blog

Dream Garden on the California Coast Brings Healing and Wholeness

December 3, 2019

(gentle music) (crashing waves) – I’ve always gravitated to the coast. I love being near the ocean. Just down the road is the
Pudding Creek Trestle, and it’s been refurbished as
part of the Coastal Trail. One of the wonderful things
about this piece of property, even though I’m a couple of miles inland, when the winds are right,
I can hear the ocean. (ocean waves) Twenty years ago, I discovered Fort Bragg, completely by accident. It’s a small town. Some wonderful, natural beauty to it. I started out as an architect years ago. It was actually quite a
stressful profession for me. Took all my possessions, I
put them on the sidewalk, sold them, and I moved,
and I actually had a friend who had a real estate agent in Fort Bragg, and this was the first piece
of property he showed me. And I fell in love immediately. I just knew that this was the place that was gonna be my next home. I was pretty sick actually at the time. I was diagnosed with HIV
before it even had a name. And so, the idea was
that I would be somewhere where I could take care of myself and not lead such a stressful life. I didn’t expect to be alive very much longer after I moved here. But I put my hands in the soil and I began to come back to life. I discovered the healing
power of nature for myself. And, I felt reborn. There are groups of redwoods
that surround this property, and that alone creates this
wonderful sense of majesty. (water trickling) (gentle music) I have just under eight
acres and I would say I’ve landscaped somewhere between three to three and a half of them. I have fields in front
and woods in the back and then, the middle is the garden. I knew so little about plants
really when I moved here, and, after a few years, I
decided that the best thing to do would be to work at a local nursery. And I went to work part-time for one of the great nurseries here in town, and learned about plants and I worked in exchange for plants. There was never any master plan. The garden evolved one plant at a time. I would find a plant that
I loved, bring it home, and then wander around with it and try and find the perfect place for it. (calming music) It’s been trial and error over the years. I’ve killed more than my share of plants. And it’s a deer-proof garden. The deer wander freely through. You know, I’ve had a few false starts that the deer will eat, have eaten a few plants over the years. I’ve learned a couple of
lessons what not to plant. But, basically, everything
that you see here is deer-resistant. One of the wonderful things
about living here on the coast is that things just love to grow. When I put the pond in, it felt a little artificial at first, but plants just seem to blow in, and they root themselves. I’ve probably only planted half of the things that you
see around the pond. The rest have just started on their own. After putting in the pond,
turtles found their way here. Frogs found their way here. It’s like a wildlife sanctuary, in a way. I was sitting on the deck one day and this red fox came up
and joined me on the deck and just sat there as if he
didn’t even know I was there. The garden has really evolved into a series of outdoor rooms. There is the Heather garden,
the Rhododendron garden, a greenhouse which is
not a greenhouse really that grows vegetables or anything. It’s more of a place
for people to hang out. Then there’s the raised beds area, which originally was vegetables. I turned it into a berry garden. This is my 20th year in the garden. I decided it was finally time
to bring in the Houzz element. I discovered Houzz several years ago. Incredible inspirational
photos that I’ve looked at and gotten some great ideas for things to incorporate here in the gardens. My guests have always enjoyed
wandering through the gardens, but there’s never been any place for them to really sit and relax. I created an idea book of things that I really wanted to have here. Found some great sectional sofas, couple of fire tables that I really liked. I fire up the fire pit
and I can prop my feet up and have a glass of wine and
stay warm in the evenings. The sofa I can relax on. My cat loves to sit on it with me. We wrap up in a blanket and
enjoy the evenings here and now, and I was never able to do that before. I love sharing this place with people. My health now is as
good as it’s ever been. I wake up every day with this
joy and excitement about life, and I can’t wait to get outside and do whatever it is that the garden is asking of me that day. I had no idea that this place would become what it has become. It has really taught me to slow down, to appreciate the moment, to appreciate what’s in front of me. And it has really taught
me to just be in the now. (refreshing music) (wind chimes)


  • Reply Stefin Shaji August 15, 2018 at 5:29 am

    same sound of elon musk

  • Reply Dhanashree108 August 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm


  • Reply Art Johnson August 18, 2018 at 1:43 am

    Spectacular. Give your videographer a raise! Beautiful place, filmed very, very well.

  • Reply SuperJhong August 18, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Living here would be a Dream Come True. Amazing Man, Amazing Nature. 💕💕

  • Reply Nancy Jensen August 19, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    A true slice of Heaven!

  • Reply Pei Luamanu August 21, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    absolutely beautiful.. so serene and thank you to this lovely gentleman sharing his love and passion.. may God bless you with many more years to come enjoying your fruitful… peaceful and joyful life…

  • Reply Brad the Pitts August 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    The North Pacific Coast would be a wonderful place for me to retire, I hope I can afford it some day.

  • Reply Ne Jo August 22, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    This is life. Nature is life, Garden is life. You are a Beautiful soul. God bless you always and Thank you.

  • Reply Sabirina A. Mohamud August 22, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Omg im in love with this garden😍 truly a dream

  • Reply Lana Kus August 24, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Inspiring and beautiful

  • Reply l.e. B September 1, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Omg! How beautiful!!!

  • Reply J A Salinas September 1, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    This story and short "film" is so inspiring that there's a kind of joy springing inside me and my tears just welled… This provides me an insight on what I do with the remainder of my lifetime… Thank you Houzz and Mr. Calhoun for sharing this magical personal life-affirming experience…

  • Reply Dawn Figueroa September 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I hope that you are reading this Mr. Calhoun. I wanted to say thank you. As one of the first waves of diagnoses you paved the way for all living with this virus today. All the ridiculous clinical trials, all the basically lab human….errrr… rat 😜 experiments with the drugs/poisons that were killing more than they were saving. What you did was help find the antiretrovirals available today that are saving not only your life but the billions of others as well. Thank you for going through all that horror the meds unleashed on your body. I have a loved one very dear to me that was quite literally saved in 96 with the new antiretrovirals you and the many others still alive and those lost suffered through. As one who has indirectly benefited from this, my endless and heartfelt love and gratitude has no end. Wishing you continued health and happiness.

  • Reply axldos September 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Wow. What a gorgeous and inspirational environment you’ve created.

  • Reply Rae Clarke September 16, 2018 at 1:08 am


  • Reply Eman Saad September 26, 2018 at 6:07 pm


  • Reply sally simonds September 27, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    A most beautiful wonderland of gardens!

  • Reply Mojamoja Mujaden October 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    its so beautiful—-i can almost cry…….that's my dream garden!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your garden with us.

  • Reply Kelli Lang October 2, 2018 at 1:56 am

    this is a stunning piece of property. it looks like a picture from a book of fairytales.

  • Reply Fei Takishima October 2, 2018 at 10:38 am

    This is majestic. It almost makes me want to cry.

  • Reply Yummy Mummy Emporium & Apothecary October 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    "knock, knock. It's me, I saw your video. Can I please live here?"

  • Reply MeriNiko October 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    It is the most beautiful place I ever seen, this garden blended in the nature, perfect

  • Reply ian cale October 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm


  • Reply Tish Tish October 26, 2018 at 12:06 am

    Omg A Dream 😍😍

  • Reply Ana ML October 27, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Beautiful… So beautiful

  • Reply Victoria MacPriest October 30, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    What a beautiful soul

  • Reply Mel G November 12, 2018 at 4:27 am


  • Reply Carmen Brisebois November 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    What a paradise !

  • Reply esc luis November 17, 2018 at 10:31 am

    You Sir is inspiration

  • Reply Smudgie33 November 27, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    What a lovely guy and a beautiful space.

  • Reply nura o-o December 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    My life will be like this one day

  • Reply Fredy Rojas December 15, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    A life’s story that transformed a space into a paradise. Very brave to share his personal experience with HIV to explain the healing that can be achieved by gardening and taking care of something special

  • Reply Fisher Mann December 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    You are my hero, John Calhoun!

  • Reply Fisher Mann December 27, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    i want to meet you. I want to visit your beautiful garden.

  • Reply velvet toyz January 13, 2019 at 6:38 am

    This brought me to tears I lost my God father 💔 to aids and I garden and it's beyond soothing you've seriously made heaven on Earth this is stunning ty for sharing your story and place ❤️

  • Reply anna elena January 23, 2019 at 1:41 pm


  • Reply darwaka88 February 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    He just created a paradise for himself.

  • Reply ridwan sunaryo February 11, 2019 at 6:36 am

    This is inspiring, really beautiful!. I wish you all the best of health Mr.John.

  • Reply 1milliemm February 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Creating your home the way you want it takes time. Stunning.

  • Reply Monika Bailey February 16, 2019 at 2:39 am

    His sanctuary is beautiful 💚💙♥️

  • Reply Aogo February 26, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    My gosh it's magnificent

  • Reply D'o Carrasquillo February 28, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Really nice garden

  • Reply mizzmolly March 5, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Wow! I'm going to have to watch this a couple more times!

  • Reply Marcus Aurelius March 15, 2019 at 10:57 am

    This is paradise

  • Reply T Gonzalez March 16, 2019 at 4:24 am

    All I can say is WOW! What you have done is amazing!!

  • Reply Vicki Gade March 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Beautiful! Everything you said about the dirt and just enjoying the peace around you I truly get.👍

  • Reply Heidi Proctor March 17, 2019 at 11:46 pm


  • Reply Paul Deland March 19, 2019 at 3:24 am

    He could charge admission to such a magnificent place. Lucky dude!

  • Reply Gê Coimbra March 19, 2019 at 4:50 am

    Amazing! Looks like a bit of Brazil , from the Amazon!

  • Reply Ultra Labs March 19, 2019 at 3:01 pm


  • Reply Wendy Stringer March 20, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Thank you for bringing such health and wholeness to our earth one acre at a time.

  • Reply Afiya Ansari March 20, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    absolutely beautiful and stunning. MashaAllah ! SubhanAllah ! good work sir, it takes a lot of effort and it looks like you have put your soul into it. puts even the images created by artificial technology to shame.

  • Reply j pyke March 20, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    So happy that you are taming the beast and loving your life as an accidental gardener….you've done a splendid job of it, John….my partner and I salute your spirit and your lovely gardens!

    J. Pyke

  • Reply Cathy Mumford March 22, 2019 at 2:40 am

    beyond beautiful

  • Reply Айкокуль Турганбаева March 22, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    A magician.

  • Reply umouthingme March 24, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    His garden is beautiful…I feel the same way about gardening as this Man. My garden, although not as grand, is the one place I can obtain some inner peace and tranquillity in a world that's gone CrAzY!

  • Reply Susan Kelley March 25, 2019 at 3:44 am

    Ohh. My. God. So. Peaceful. Love. The. Pond. You. Inspired. Me. To. Continue. On. My. Garden. Soo much. Work. But. Meaningful work. I. Love. My. Secret. Garden. Birds. Visit. More. Because. Of color. I. Guess

  • Reply Khel Montalla March 25, 2019 at 5:12 am

    Me as well sir nature gives me ultimate healing and gives me an extra ordinary thing as a effective human being

  • Reply Sixty Six March 27, 2019 at 1:59 am

    I love this place. It's so peaceful and beautiful. It's absolutely stunning I wish I can live there fantastic!

  • Reply Karin Bunton March 31, 2019 at 6:30 am

    This is so gorgeous! I love everything you have created. Mr. Calhoun could teach others. 😀 Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, peaceful place with us, and thank you Mr. Calhoun for opening up to the world about what inspired you to do this.

  • Reply Mc Mess April 1, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Il a construit son propre paradis, je pense que votre jardin est le reflex de votre aime. Bravo!!!

  • Reply Stephanie Botsford April 9, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Spectacular…the garden and the journey. Congratulations!!

  • Reply burney6211 April 12, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Beautiful gardens, beautiful story. Thanks so much for sharing this. I've now decided I need my own Temple of Gratitude.

  • Reply M Wall April 13, 2019 at 5:06 pm


  • Reply Shekhar Jalane April 14, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Such a beautiful life ❤️ he created with 🌲

  • Reply Mojamoja Mujaden April 21, 2019 at 6:18 am

    Happy Easter. I always watch this video because it so awe inspiring. Its authentically beautiful. His garden has a heartbeat. Whenever i'm down, I just watch this video. thank you houzz and sir John Calhoun. God bless you always. Maraming Salamat (thank you.)

  • Reply Karina Zherluck April 24, 2019 at 7:12 am

    This is the most beautiful house I've ever seen. It is perfect. ❤

  • Reply Teng Rithy April 27, 2019 at 9:57 am

    So PEACEFUL and beautiful. A talk from the heart.

  • Reply Alicia Stephen April 30, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Absolutely love this property, excellent job and so peaceful! Just stunning! ❤️ So glad he found this spot to help heal himself!

  • Reply Nellie Diaz May 14, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Beautiful. Wish you peace, joy, good health!

  • Reply MOMMA IQBAL May 14, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Wow it looks gorgeous and everything the man says is also just as beautiful 😍

  • Reply Charlotte Clark May 15, 2019 at 2:28 am

    I Am Drawn To A Sense Of Spirituality I Can't Put My Finger On It But It's Surreal And Tranquil Awesome!!!

  • Reply Cecil Grant May 18, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    Amazing garden I’m so inspired

  • Reply Alice Rodrigues May 26, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    This is realy a dream place, i dont now you but i wish you a long and happy life!!!

  • Reply Ashlee Rasmussen May 28, 2019 at 2:43 am

    Drooling! Dreams do come true with hard work, gratitude and a healing heart

  • Reply Sandy G. June 10, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Spectacularly beautiful and serene!🌻🌼🌻

  • Reply aidaeb June 15, 2019 at 5:38 am


  • Reply Maria Foti June 19, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Wow!!! Just stunning!, so happy that you feel great, health wise. xoxo

  • Reply Jr B July 4, 2019 at 10:56 am

    So beautiful, and peaceful!

  • Reply Ginger A July 10, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    This was very touching I love being outside. But I would like waking up to this beautiful oasis. Being outside with the beauty is always breathtaking. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home and garden. Very cool👍🏾👍🏾✌🏾🌻🌻🌻🌻👌🏾

  • Reply naryah22 July 28, 2019 at 4:05 pm


  • Reply Lerma Clemente August 16, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Look like fairy garden or garden in heaven😄😄😄

  • Reply Annie H August 16, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    What an amazing place

  • Reply Esther stephens August 21, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    I’m seeing this a little late. Majestic indeed. How beautiful that life (in more ways than one) found their way to your home. I love it!

  • Reply Sow AG August 24, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    What a guy

  • Reply Michael VR August 25, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Houzz is really trying to make me cry right now. I mean the end scene with the horses??? Where are my tissues??

  • Reply Von Marie Oliva September 2, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    "Perseverance, finding your happy place and the healing power of nature." Beautiful beautiful BEAUTIFUL place, so happy for him

  • Reply Jackie Stennett September 16, 2019 at 3:34 am

    I just saw your Houzz video. Your yard is gorgeous, a true feast for the eyes.

  • Reply MaRa Eickermann September 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    So beautiful 💕🌻

  • Reply Albina S September 24, 2019 at 10:11 am

    this is hauntingly beautiful goddamn 👏

  • Reply Lindy Lindy September 25, 2019 at 6:11 am

    …the fox came because he saw your energy as part of nature…a few happy tears as I so appreciate y’all sharing this unique/stunning property that has helped you heal…

  • Reply joanna yeo October 1, 2019 at 10:58 am

    You definitely found the perfect place for every plant, the whole place is stunning. What a journey you have been through x

  • Reply mozzarella October 2, 2019 at 10:35 am

    my dream property!!! what a beautiful place

  • Reply Krisztina Rozsos October 6, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Wow, what a wonderful place he created. Truly magical!

  • Reply De Eff October 8, 2019 at 6:04 am

    John seems to be a great person 🙂

  • Reply R October 13, 2019 at 2:23 am

    This is even prettier than my mind has imagined the Garden of Eden!

  • Reply Meagan Henscheid October 26, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Real life Bob Ross paintings.

  • Reply FengShuiSusan November 13, 2019 at 1:48 am

    How lovely 💕

  • Reply Elizabeth C. November 25, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    That is paradise

  • Reply Jessica Villamor November 26, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    I wish could spend my 50th birthday there in your beautiful garden its like paradise!

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