Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I was asked in April to design a front yard for a couple that had torn down what was their one story house and were building their two story dream.  The trick to meeting all their needs was doing so on a shoe string budget.

So the plan was to create a seating area along with some raised and not raised planters.  There is also going to be an area of grass.  The paths and driveway are concrete to save on cost and the majority of the plants will be California native.

They had decided to paint their house a gray color which coordinates nicely with the natural gray concrete.  The ledger stone which has mixed gray tones also coordinates well with the other materials. In this design the color pops will be the plants.  From different leaf color to different flower colors this garden will be something pretty to drive by and look at.

When you are faced with a shoe string budget and are not sure where to begin then this creates a perfect scenario in which it would be wise to consult and hire a professional.  The time it would take for you to do research to determine what will work for you space is time that you could be spending with your loved ones.  In the end the cost of doing the landscape yourself is more than hiring a professional.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Recently I entered my Fullerton clients garden into the Rogers Gardens California friendly garden contest.  There were 10+ entries and much to my surprise we took third place.  I say we because while I designed the garden someone else (aka Terra Prima) installed the garden.  This was truly a team effort.

Some features of this garden are:

  • 70% California native plants
  • 30% California friendly plants
  • Dry creek bed
  • A bridge that leads to a secret garden
  • Decomposed granite path
  • Energy efficient irrigation and lighting system

This is why I strongly advocate hiring professionals.  As professionals we have had not only the educational training but also the real world experience to design a garden that is not only beneficial to this environment but also soft on your wallet.  What you need to consider is that the amount of time that it would take you to do the design and install yourself is ultimately going to cost more then if you hire a professional.  Time is money and the less of it that you spend the better.

If you live in Orange County, CA and are looking for some guidance on your landscape then do not hesitate to contact me for a complimentary half hour consultation.

The pictures posted here are of the winning garden.

Friday, June 20, 2014


My client in Newport Beach recently bought 12 living wall planters for her patio.  The design intent was to garden up since there was not much land to garden in.  This was also going to add color pops to her patio.  In her case we decided to go with the white planters and allow for the plants to add the pop. We used a combination of edible and California friendly plants in different leaf colors and textures. She could have watered by hand but the contractor installed a drip system for ease.  Eventually she will have the drip tubing painted to match the architecture color.

Other elements that we added to the landscape are a fountain with two Japanese Maple trees on either side, California native plants in the ground (Iris, Blue Eyed Grass, Red Autumn Sage).  We also added two edible garden beds for growing more goodness.