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Back from the ashes

Keli Cadenhead was despondent after the 2003 Cedar wildfire in San Diego County destroyed the garden around her Alpine home. With her husband Dan’s encouragement and support, she went to work, and the garden became a highlight of the 2005 Alpine Sage & Songbirds Garden Tour. (Sean Masterson / For The Times)
Keli Cadenhead shows a blue agave’s fire damage. She was able to bring back about 80% of her original plants. (Sean Masterson / For The Times)
A Cleveland sage blooms in Keli Cadenhead’s post-wildfire garden. She concentrated on native plants after the blaze. “They’d shown me how hearty they are,” she says. (Sean Masterson / For The Times)
Pride of Barbados, also known as red bird of paradise, adds its vibrant color to the landscape around Keli Cadenhead’s home. (Sean Masterson / For The Times)
Beavertail is one of several kinds of cactus and succulents Keli Cadenhead grows in the chaparral of Alpine. She prefers drought-tolerant species. “I’d rather join nature and grow what is meant to live here,” she says. (Sean Masterson / For The Times)
Renovations to Keli and Dan Cadenhead’s Alpine home are almost complete. After the 2003 Cedar fire in San Diego County, they crossed police lines to return to their home, doused a burning wall and possibly saved the building. (Sean Masterson / For The Times)
Losing her garden to wildfire was devastating to Keli Cadenhead. “The garden is what made our house beautiful,” she says. Restoring it, she says, has been a joy. (Sean Masterson / For The Times)