The existing garden was “old and tired” as the plantings were well beyond their ornamental value and much of the soil was hard as rock. Huge expanses of the property were covered with Ivy, the only plant that the local deer population had not eaten. Access around the home was limited, with unstable pathways, a multitude of chain link fences and gates, and some unuseable slopes. The existing pool deck area was small and the concrete surface was in poor condition.
We began the project by removing the existing pool deck and pouring a larger new colored concrete deck. The property was cleaned of the masses of ivy, huge amounts of soil and rocks. The narrow walkway at the rear of the house was widened and a retaining wall was installed to create a deep raised planter bed. A section of the existing hill was removed to create a “kitchen courtyard” area off the back door of the home. The space was shaded with an angled wood pergola structure and planted with a trumpet vine to provide some much needed shade. This space is now well used as a place to relax and enjoy a drink or a meal close to the kitchen. The plants used in this planter bed are fairly low maintenance but provide masses of color and lots of cut flower plants.
The large trees and fences closing the lop lawn area and the pool deck were removed and the new pool deck extended for more deck space. A soft set of “grass steps” was created to provide an interesting, as well as comfortable, transition to the lawn area.
Wood retaining walls were constructed throughout the top garden area to create much needed flat space. A large courtyard was created near the master bedroom. A flight of “natural” steps winds their way from this area to the highest point on the property, where a bench is located. One can now sit here and enjoy views over the property and the hills beyond.
A waterfall and stream flow down to a grass area where two reclining chairs are located, another very soothing place to sit.
Along the new driveway, the large hill was cleaned and planted with massed plantings of varying colored plants to add shape and form to the hill.
Master Bedroom Courtyard
Pool deck with grass steps
Kitchen Courtyard Area
Before - Old deck and unusable slope
Much Needed Deck Space
The existing site already had a small deck which was old and unstable in areas. The existing wood surface was coming up and in need of repair. The rest of the garden was an unusable slope and very uneven red brick paving.
The scope of this project was to create a large deck space with plenty of place to entertain and relax. To provide both table and bench seating and to unify the whole back garden. Also to enhance the views out over the nature trail but ant the same time try to keep the privacy of the deck area.Some elements that we wanted to incorporate into the deck were some changes in deck direction and levels to add interest. To add a wood fire-pit to match the new deck and to refinish the existing slate patio so that it tied in.
We removed the existing deck down to the structure and then added the new structure for the deck extension area. Steps and direction changes were designed into the deck surface. New railings were built around the entire deck. Benches were incorporated into the deck to add much needed seating space. A natural gas burning fire pit was also constructed to tie in to the deck. It was built with the same materials and capped off by using red Lava Rocks.
Detail lighting was placed throughout the deck and under the benches to highlight some of the elements of the deck and some of the pots and plants added to the deck area. The existing slate patio was cleaned and sealed with a wet look sealer to bring out the color.
After - New Redwood deck and patio
Redwood deck and Slate patio
Redwood Bench Seating and Fire-Pit
Historic West Adams
Low Maintenance Natural
This historic home built in 1905 had been restored to its original grander and our brief was to create a garden that complemented the historic value of the home but at the same time was low maintained, low water and most of all very difference from the gardens in the street.
We began by removing loads of the existing soil from the site which after many years was contaminated with lead, we then brought on 30yarda of new clean painting mix. A brick and decomposed granite pathway was laid in leading from the drive to the front steps of the home. The bricks used were from the old foundations of the house.
The soil was graded to provide mounds and sloped in the front garden to add interest and to create areas of less movement. A large Californian Peppercorn tree was planted to add height and eventual dappled shade over the garden. The rest of the plantings were grasses and ground covers. A mass of Fescue was planted as the "lawn" area. The drive way median of the home was planted out with gazania to provide a tough but ever flowering strip.
After - Grass and wildflowers
Gazania Drive Median
Used Brick and decomposed granite path and Fescue "lawn"