Tour East Sacramento home’s gorgeous backyard garden, pool

A backyard garden in East Sacramento evolved over two decades to become the lovely oasis it is today.

It’s stars in this week’s “Bee My Guest” episode. “Bee My Guest” is the Sacramento Bee’s video series spotlighting wonderful and interesting features in Sacramento area homes.

The garden sits behind a stately home, built in 1912, at 1540 39th St. in Sacramento, California.

In 2020, the final piece was put in place: a beautiful pergola with a fireplace. The structure turned out to be a pretty nice place for homeowners Mike and Cindy Leathers to spend time during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

The Leathers know all about the process of cultivating a perfect backyard garden. They bought the historic East Sac property (complete with an original hitching post out front) in 1983. The residence underwent two major renovations to the interior before the couple really zeroed in on a concept for backyard.

The backyard evolved from basically a large play area for their young children at the time, with a play structure, weedy sidewalks for riding tricycles and a drinking fountain, into today’s gorgeous garden designed for entertaining family and guests, relaxing, dining, swimming and growing vegetables and herbs.

“There was a huge Camphor Tree (in the backyard)“ Mike Leathers said. “They’re beautiful trees, but 365 days a year they kind of need tending. So we had it for 15 or 20 years. And it was really hard to give it up because it was a beautiful tree. But once we got rid of that and opened up the backyard more, then we got a little more formal with different kinds of plantings. We tried to hang on to the past, but then we moved on. And that’s why gardens are an evolutionary kind of thing.”

The garden was featured in the annual East Sacramento Garden Tour on Mother’s Day Weekend benefiting David Lubin Elementary School. The two-day event offers the community a sneak peak into gardens in the Fab 40s neighborhood.

Hundreds got a look at the Leathers’ backyard, which boasts an expansive brick patio overlooking the large and inviting pool, a pergola with a fireplace and a raised-bed vegetable garden. See the video above for a closer look.

Mike Leathers is an orthopedic surgeon and Cindy Leathers is a real estate agent.

For past “Bee My Guest” shows, go to this page.

And please share with us your favorite home feature, whether it’s a room, yard, pool or other amenity in the form below.

David Caraccio is a video producer for The Sacramento Bee who was born and raised in Sacramento. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and longtime journalist who has worked for newspapers as a reporter, editor, page designer and digital content producer.