Be water-wise and still have a beautiful garden.

Archive for the ‘All Posts’ Category

Outdoor living room

I like how this very small space packs in a lot of utility, with an outdoor shower, a couple different seating areas, a vegetable garden. The other thing that makes this space work, that makes any garden space really work, is the feeling of enclosure and privacy. The aesthetic is clean with wood and concrete, […]

Cedros Garden

Cedros Ave. front garden A massive pine tree was removed prior to my involvement, existing plantings dated and damaged, the driveway was badly cracked, and the property lacked curb appeal. We reused the concrete from the driveway to construct two retaining walls and a stairway.New drought tolerant plantings will anchor the house to the landscape […]

Personal Space

I think the link between the physical and the mental, in terms of personal space, is forgotten and its impact underestimated. We take time to organize our mental space, to rest the brain, to put things in order, to prioritize. We seek moments of rest or relaxation in the form of sleep, or entertaining, dreaming […]

Beachside Planting

My clients wanted a garden on the beach, literally. Right on the beach.  As you might imagine there are some unique challenges to gardening right at the beach. The site is rather windy and the soils somewhat saline. With a little preparation and careful plant selection we were able to proceed without undue complexity. Access […]

Less Lawn More Pretty (2)

More often than not a picture is enhanced by a frame. This property had a great view to the east, but the lack of foreground depth made the perimeter fence feel close, and the chain link fence interrupted the view. By removing the lawn and introducing some compelling plant material in the foreground not only […]

Less lawn more pretty

Calling this lawn may be an overstatement, but it is a fairly typical landscape arrangement, boring foundation plants close to the house then lawn to the property line. With sufficient water and fertilizer this lawn could be made green so the neighbors could enjoy looking at it and the homeowner could enjoy the sound of […]

Designing Views

I am an ocean lover, and for me there’s something deeply compelling about looking out over the ocean. Apparently I’m not the only one because the words “ocean view” seem to catapult a property’s real estate value into the stratosphere, despite the fact that said view is but a sliver glimpsed through a tangle of […]


Somehow a whole year has slipped by, and I while have been less than diligent with the blogging I like to think I have been more than diligent in taking care of my clients and garden design work. Finally with the coming of winter and the rains it feels like there’s time to slow down […]

Great Grasses

I recently saw ornamental grass guru John Greenlee speak at the San Diego Horticultural Society, and it reminded me of how much I like the grasses. We’re always drawing ideas and inspriation from nature and it’s hard to imagine a natural ecosystem that doesn’t have grasses as part of the flora. It follows that I […]

Heavy lifting just couldn’t budge-it

Could there possibly be a more romantic word in the English language? Wine, candles… budget. For most of us it’s right up there with sorting out the recycling. In fact I’m guessing that half the readers saw the subject line and scrolled right on to something else. But for you, die hard reader I will […]