The backyard was redesigned as intimate “outdoor home” with several usable spaces, inviting privacy, color and and interesting textures. Its muted tones, the weathered-looking hardscape materials and a colorful xeriscape design give this garden a beautiful matured feeling.
The garden achieved a 2013 “Gardens of the Year” award bestowed by San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine. (Read “On Key”, by Eva Ditler; with photos by Martin Mann).
The existing backyard landscape design had an impractical layout: A planter bed chopped up the main patio, and the oversized pool deck left no room for plants that would give this garden life and interest.
The goal of the landscape renovation was the creation of several distinct use areas, in style and design harmonizing with the textures and colors of the contemporary California home; plants would be colorful, unfussy and low in their water needs.
This project was a great opportunity to balance the hardscape materials with the plant-scape while applying a modern design palette to the overall composition, always pursuing the idea of weathering and maturity.
The pool and spa look like a modern lagoon, adding to the feeling of peace and tranquility.
Besides being a fun retreat, this hammock allows viewing the garden from a different angle.
A double layer of pale green sails provides cool shade to a new dining and lounging area.
The layout and blend of the materials harmonize well with the tones and architecture of the residence: Matte concrete, rusted planters, mottled copper, faded wood and living bamboo.
The old cluttered garden was turned in a sunny, dynamic yet restful ‘outdoor home’, organized to allow for entertainment, relaxation and play.
Despite the many built elements such as pavement, steel edging, naturally rusted planters and light troughs, the hardscapes do not overwhelm the garden.
The original overgrown tropical plants were replaced with subtropical low maintenance plants, in the owner’s preferred color palette of chartreuse, black-purple, and pink or yellow/orange: Dark Forest Pansy Redbud and “Ti Ruby” Cordyline; magenta Rock Purslane and golden Kangaroo Paw; also pink Echeveria to which Carex Evergold and Aechmea blanchetiana provide the yellow and orange contrast.
These are mostly drought resistant plants that provide a long-lived, elegant plant scheme whose interest is kept alive through their colorful foliage that will keep its strong presence in the garden throughout the seasons.
One of the landscape lighting ideas was to fill steel troughs with lava rock and place them strategically within the garden to act as beacons in the night and to prolong the outdoor entertainment after nightfall.
The steel fountain is a serene visual and audible treat.
Halfway through the installation, the construction of an over-sized home in the neighbor’s yard was a big concern.
We resolved the challenge with a Black Timor Bamboo hedge that creates an intimate space and helps re-direct the eye inwards to vivid plantings and a synergy of all materials employed. It’s exciting to see how the black Bamboo stems echo the dark pavement in a wonderful contrast to the surrounding green foliage.This San Diego Landscape design is a joy to live in.