Barbara & Larry Earl
Visalia, California USA

By Larry Earl - Click images to enlarge



Hi! I was born 1958, in Portland, Oregon. Barbara was born in Jermyn, Pennsylvania, in the year … well ... she is just a little younger than I am!

We live in the rapidly expanding town of Visalia, California. It has grown from 17,000 to 100,000 in the thirty years that I have lived here. We are about eight miles outside city limits, or were ........ the city limit sign just got a half mile closer to us this year! Barbara is the Assistant Controller at Diamond Perforated Metals, Inc. She has been there 24 years! How does someone do that??? I have chosen to struggle in the world of ART. I have just managed to get my new website ( ) up and running. Take a peek, if you get the uncontrollable urge!

Painting by Larry Earl

The sloop

The orchard

Photo by Barbara Earl

 Barbara enjoys photography as a hobby, we both enjoy sailing our Columbia sloop and I enjoy growing rare and unusual fruits. I belong to the California Rare Fruit Growers ( ) We are on the lower edge of Zone 9 here, so with a little frost protection we can grow delicacies like Cherimoya and Carambola. I have nine varieties of grapes, three types of Asian Pears, three varieties of Pomegranate, five Cherries, five bananas, etc. It is fun dreaming of becoming self-sustaining.
We also have a couple of dozen chickens who provide us with brown, green, and blue eggs! Three dogs, way too many cats, (zero rodents!) and then there is Herman, our thirty pound turkey, who suffers from anxiety every fall, despite reassurance from us that he won't be a guest at the Thanksgiving dinner table!

We were married in 1986, and have been water gardening since 1992. Our first pond went well (for the most part!) It was made of concrete (2.5 cubic yards) and held roughly 1500 gallons. It was three feet deep at the deep end. All was fine for a while. I had built up the waterfall from the removed earth. I faced the front of it with boulders and a small pool that would trickle into the main pond. Then one day while we had the pump on, but were inside, Ol' Murphy got together with Mr. Gravity, and decided they'd settle the earth mound just a little more!

What I had was a sort of cement 'bowl' that I made on the top that would lead the water over the falls. But as the earth settled, this tipped back ever so slightly, and the water started running off the back side, down and around the mound. And, carrying the mud slide with it. We ended up with over a foot of lovely mud in the pond. This all happened in about an hour! The 'mound' was rebuilt, using concrete block construction on a firm foundation. We learned two lessons that day. Never leave the pump going unattended on a brand new pond, and don't trust an earth mound to stay put! Even though I thought I had compacted it well. I hope this story of our first pond experience will save a headache for someone else.

Since then we have moved out to the country. We have five acres which we are trying to create a park-like setting out of. Maybe not for us, but sometime in the future there will be huge mature trees. And we are being sure to plant Valley Oaks (Quercus lobata) every so often to help ensure that the garden will remain, after we are long gone. The Valley Oaks are a protected species around here.

We hope someday it will be nice enough to invite the public in, on a limited basis (because of the small size). The land was quite bare when we purchased it at the end of 1998. Except for four young trees which had been cut in half with a chain saw, all trees had been bulldozed down when the former owner had demolished the little house. We are happy to say that the remaining four are all doing fine and growing, with just some scarring on one side! Now we have over 400 trees planted, one earth-bottom pond (thanks to the plentiful clay), and one small preformed pond. The earth-bottomed pond is about 20x30 feet, and about three feet deep. That is Papyrus in the far end. ONE season's growth! (I cut it back to the waterline every winter.)

We moved a manufactured home onto the land, which we are now living in. And lately we are devoting our spare time (what's that?) to digging a pond around our new home. It will be on three sides of the house. It will be roughly 1/2 acre in size, with a small island, for bonfires and maybe even campouts! This is the best way we can see to combat this heat of interior central California. But it's a 'dry' heat we hear. I don't think that matters after it hits that century mark! Pictures will appear here as progress is made.

I am also working on some hollow underwater fish-condos/sculptures for the pond. Like Mermaids and Manatees! And I hope to put in an underwater viewing window under our front porch! One of my college instructors once said that I really should be living in Disneyland. I fear he was right!

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