Tropical Garden

If you want to feel like you and your family are on a year-round vacation, the Tropical Garden is an excellent choice. Imagine lush, large-leafed, fragrant plants with vivid colors surrounding a patio of natural stone and colored, stamped concrete decorated with teak and rattan garden furniture  under a thatched roof shade structure—palapa. A tropical swimming pool and raised spa with spillway are typical of this style. If a swimming pool is a bit much, or space is at a minimum, a natural waterfall with a running stream with a bridge gives the yard a true sense of being in a tropical paradise. This natural style will give the feeling of being in a primordial forest, far from civilization.        

Tropical Garden Elements: Tropical-style furniture with colorful upholstery, bamboo fencing, colorful Mayan hammocks, and hand-carved island statues make the lush garden come alive. Swimming pools must be an informal, natural shape—a lagoon! Beach entries are excellent, especially with an island palapa offering relief from the sun. An outdoor kitchen veneered with natural stone is mandatory for this lifestyle. Keep in mind, the addition of rocks/boulders accents the pool. Boulders are also used within the landscaped areas and along pathways as seating. Fire pits in the landscape and round fire tables on the patio make evening gatherings warm and inviting. Adding citronella (oil) or gas-powered tiki torches (see Hawaiian Theme below) adds to the ambiance. Meandering stone walkways often display faux bamboo path edging. Rock speakers featuring subtle tropical animal and bird sounds can be used effectively when entertaining.

Tropical Garden Plants: Dramatic leaves, bold textures, vivid colors, and fragrant flowers compliment your tropical setting. Dwarf Palms with multi-trunks, Dracaenas, Tree Ferns, and Cycads rise above an lush undergrowth of Ferns, Aralias, Birds of Paradise, Dwarf Purple Flax, Dwarf Philodendron, Kaffir Lilies, Camellias, Gardenias, and Plumerias. Staghorn Ferns and Bromeliads hang from a Dwarf Coral Tree or a multi-trunked, twisted Ficus Tree kept as “bonsai” in a large organic container. Pathways are lined with lush ornamental grasses like small Carex species, Dwarf Lily Turf, and Dwarf Mondo Grass.

Annual color is used at focal points: entries and water features.

Hawaiian Theme: Popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this theme includes tiki torches, a palapa with thatched roof and a bamboo bar, fish nets with shells, and marine ornaments that goes with this theme. Add Hawaiian background music and a “South Seas Island atmosphere” transports you to paradise.

Mediterranean Estate

The Mediterranean Estate garden works well with most Southern California homes. If you reside in a home that is not custom built, often in a planned community, this style might be appropriate for your architecture. This garden features casual elegance with areas depicting an outdoor life style. Natural elements are used, including terra cotta pots, clay patio tiles, stone and paver walkways, decorative stone, statues, free-standing fountains, and of course, elegant swimming pools, spas, and outdoor entertainment areas. These gardens are often formal looking near the residence but become more informal as the landscape extends into the yard. Although the landscape plants look lush and elegant, the majority of shrubs and trees used are drought-tolerant. Water features are important. When you enter the back yard patio retreat, serene water fountains surrounded by flowering shrubs, combined with the smell of fragrant herbs and blooming citrus provide a calm, tranquil setting.

Mediterranean Estate Elements: Natural stone or tumbled pavers create interesting patios and walkways. Arbors and pergolas with decomposed granite floors add areas of relaxation, as do seating areas within the garden. Outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas are a popular addition, especially if a classic-shaped pool and elevated spa is part of the back yard design. Decorative tiered water fountains, water urns, and fire pits add audio and visual pleasure for family and guests. Depending on your lifestyle, a bocce ball court is an authentic element for the Mediterranean Estate.

Mediterranean Estate Plants: The Mediterranean plant palette contains wonderful choices, as well as surprises. Some familiar shrub species include Rosemary, Dwarf Lavender, Purple New Zealand Flax, and numerous drought tolerant species available at local nurseries. Citrus trees, both in containers and trained on walls as espaliers, are important. Trees include Olives, Dwarf Columnar Cypress, Junipers, Sky Pencil Holly, Patio Tree shrubs,  and depending on the size of the yard, some specimen Stone or Aleppo Pines along the yard’s perimeter. Placed properly, raised herb and vegetable gardens are an excellent addition. A maze or labyrinth may be created with small hedges such as Boxwood, Carpet Roses, or rows of Dwarf Daylilies with mixed colors.

Landscape Design by Wayne, My Garden

Rock Pool with Infinity Edge 3-D animation video

As an veteran landscape architect, horticulturist, and pool designer, I have witnessed many changes in landscape design and construction industry the past thirty years. Prior to computer software, the only visual aid I had to offer you, my client, was a 2-D watercolor rendering or pencil sketch of my landscape design. Effective, but certainly not three-dimensional. Plus, the rendering never allowed you to “walk through” your newly designed yard! Over the past decade, computer software has allowed me to offer my clients actual walk-throughs of their landscape project based on my design recommendations. Here you see images selected from my 3-D video showing all the landscape design elements, including plants and lighting, incorporated into my infinity edge Rock Pool project that features a grotto/waterfall, raised spa, Baja shelf, and stream with rock bridge. My clients are now able to compare the 2-D master plans I drew for them with a high-quality 3-D video depicting the EXACT landscape design layout. You and your family now have a choice of not only viewing my working drawings, but viewing my actual VISUAL video presentations. You now see exactly what the yard of your dreams looks like!

Click on the image below to view one of Wayne’s 3-D Animations of a Rock Pool with grotto, spa, and infinity edge.

Patio Garden: Small Space Oasis – Part 1

Hello, this is Wayne, founder of My Garden, Landscape Creations.

This video features a review of the 21 landscape styles featured at the My Garden website. If you are looking for the appropriate landscape style for your home, you’ve come to the right place.

Once you find the garden style you like, please visit our You Tube channel at My Garden. There you will find a video describing your favorite landscape style in greater detail.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy your review of the twenty-one garden styles.

Although several landscape ideas might appeal to you, your favorite garden will be easy to identify based on your personal energy—likes and dislikes—your home’s location and architecture, and your lifestyle. From experience, I know you will select the right garden for your home and your family when you see the photos, read the descriptions, and visualize your new exterior living space.

By selecting a garden style you truly like, the landscape design process begins with positive energy. You now have a starting point that will grow into the quintessential garden of your dreams—a beautiful and tranquil outdoor environment.

If you like what you see, give me a call at 866-My-Garden, and we’ll discuss the rebirth of your landscape—your garden.

Enjoy the videos.

My Garden: Landscape Creations – Introduction Video

Hello, this is Wayne, founder of My Garden, Landscape Creations.

This video features a review of the 21 landscape styles featured at the My Garden website. If you are looking for the appropriate landscape style for your home, you’ve come to the right place.

Once you find the garden style you like, please visit our You Tube channel at My Garden. There you will find a video describing your favorite landscape style in greater detail.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy your review of the twenty-one garden styles.

Although several landscape ideas might appeal to you, your favorite garden will be easy to identify based on your personal energy—likes and dislikes—your home’s location and architecture, and your lifestyle. From experience, I know you will select the right garden for your home and your family when you see the photos, read the descriptions, and visualize your new exterior living space.

By selecting a garden style you truly like, the landscape design process begins with positive energy. You now have a starting point that will grow into the quintessential garden of your dreams—a beautiful and tranquil outdoor environment.

If you like what you see, give me a call at 866-My-Garden, and we’ll discuss the rebirth of your landscape—your garden.

Enjoy the videos.

Modern Contemporary Garden

Modern Contemporary Gardens are formal—bold, organized, well kept, sleek—landscape designs that are popular in Southern California, especially along the coast. Symmetrical, clean lines and bold patterns allow for a clean, fresh style. As an extension of your home’s interior, the purpose must be to create an outdoor room with straight or geometrical lines with grids of green plants having formal shapes and interesting textures. The focus is on the hardscape, not the plants. Focal points may be a formal wall fountain, sculpture, or painted wall with colored glass inlay. Outdoor lighting is a critical component in the modern garden.

Modern Contemporary Elements: The outdoor “room” must feature materials such as concrete, metal, colored glass, and wood. Natural grey concrete, weathered corten steel and wood decking is common. With contrast as your goal, blacks and silvers must be accented properly with bright colors. Less is better, meaning, pick two or three focal points in the yard and feature one element for each. Sleek walls of various heights, built-in seating on retaining walls accented with colored cushions. Rectilinear pools, spas, and fountains (add fire if possible) with formal waterfall features are standard elements. Formal-shaped fire pits with fire glass works well on concrete, stone, or wood decks. Furniture must be sleek, modern, and match the color scheme of the surrounding structures.

Modern Contemporary Plants: The plant palette is critical to a successful Modern Garden. Repeating a limited number of plant species is important. Repeated in straight, neat paths or rows. It is important to use formal-shaped plants with textural, interesting leaves. Some excellent plant choices are ornamental grasses against grey or white walls. Bold, sword-like foliage is mandatory, including such plants a Dwarf Purple Flax, Dwarf Agave, Dwarf Aloe, spherical Agaves, Dracaenas, Sago Palms, and Dwarf Kangaroo Paws. Depending on the design and the limited use of lawn areas, formally pruned hedges may be used, as long as they display symmetry and balance. The overall look of the planter beds is important. Due to the separation, or space between shrubs, a glossy, colored rock/cobblestone should be used in the formal planter beds. Focal-point, raised planters should contain a specimen plant with a fire glass bed. Specimen trees, limited in number, are  typically multi-trunked with twisted limbs and textured bark. Selections include Pink Melaleuca, mature Olive Trees, xxx, xxx. Known as abstract specimens, large multi-trunked Cycads or mature succulents like a Dr. Suess Tree or a Dragon Tree are spectacular.



English Country Garden


Each English Country Garden has its own elegant charm, whether designing an informal or a semi-formal theme. This means you may choose a natural theme with meandering walkways and flowering shrub masses, or a semi-manicured garden with a central fountain or low-growing labyrinth hedge. The architecture of your home may determine the appropriate theme, keeping in mind that most English Garden designs appear irregular in shape and do not feature straight, geometrical lines. This design works well with a bridge arching over a natural stream and pond with cascading waterfalls placed off the patio or sunroom or conservatory. Brick patios feature wicker furniture, ornate wood or cast iron benches, and antiques. There are times when the masses of flowering shrubs make this garden appear a bit full or “overgrown”. Nature at her best!


English Country Garden Elements: White picket fences, arbors, quaint bridges, and gazebos with brick walkways are typical for this garden style. Pergolas and trellises with gravel paths, stone pavers, and a decorative birdbath or a sundial, accent the custom patio area laid with custom brick, stone, or rustic pavers. Decorative containers are an excellent choice for Dwarf Citrus Trees and Standard Roses. Don’t forget the birdhouses! A meandering path leading to a simple bench surrounded by Iceberg Roses offers a garden retreat.


English Country Garden Plants: Lush, fragrant shrub masses, climbing roses on an arched trellis, a rose garden area, and groups of herbaceous plants such a Daylilies, Fortnight Lilies, Ornamental Grasses, and Iris give the garden its charm. If a bit of formality is requested, formal Boxwood hedges may line the meandering walkways. Rolling lawns are a traditional feature in English Country Gardens. Keeping water conservation in mind, a low-growing lawn substitutes are used to present an open, meadow look, allowing for a recreational turfgrass area in the backyard. Homeowners may also install the new synthetic tall fescue type turfgrass with has a natural looking thatch base. A combination of evergreen and shade trees allow summer shade and winter sun. A raised herb garden works nicely, as do seasonal bulbs and annual color placed near garden focal points.


Informal Theme, The Natural Look: For clarification, the informal garden theme consists of free-flowing, meandering pathways leading to, or through, outdoor “rooms”, or areas of interest. Shrubs are allowed to assume their natural growth habits and must be pruned with a selective pruning technique (rather than formal pruning).


Ocean View Villa


Unlike the Beach Bungalow, the Ocean View Villa home has adequate space to emphasize a grander garden scale for both hardscape elements and plant materials. Whether your home is on the beach, or perched on the bluffs above the ocean, a sense of outdoor comfort and family tradition is always featured in the Ocean Villa design.

Entertainment areas feature custom furniture pieces and cushions that are surrounded by garden accessories. Benches and seat walls face the majestic ocean. A loggia next to an outdoor kitchen features a bar and big-screen television. Strategically placed shrubs and soft hedges provide relief from the daily winds while soft, wispy grasses catch the ocean breeze.

Many ocean homes feature an interior courtyard or a glass atrium—a focal point combining indoor with outdoor living spaces for a simple, relaxing lifestyle. Don’t forget a back yard hammock to unwind and enjoy the magnificent view.


Ocean View Villa Elements: To compliment the multi-colored furniture, light-colored walkways and patio surfaces (representing the sandy beaches) made of exposed aggregate, natural stone, and custom, random-patterned brick contribute to the atmosphere of living close to the ocean. Marine artifacts, tastefully placed, can add a marine theme to the overall design. Fire pits, fireplaces, and fountains with fire, along with dramatic outdoor lighting, create an inviting environment during the cool evening hours. Simple design, not overpowering elements, must be the theme. The focal point is, after all, the neighboring ocean.


Ocean View Villa Plants: Groupings of natural flowing shrubs and herbaceous perennials that move freely in the ocean winds include ornamental grasses and plants with tall flower stalks.  If a formal design is chosen, sphere-shaped foundation plants with accents of dramatic leaves and sword-like succulents do nicely. Specimen plants include Dwarf Aloes, Dwarf Agave, Echeverias, and groupings of low-growing Sedum, Senecio ‘Blue Chalk Sticks’, and Crassula ‘Campfire’.  Salt, wind, and challenging soil conditions demand that the right plants be selected.






Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden

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The garden that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies is both attractive and a benefit to the environment. Often, this garden is designed as a “mini-garden” within one of the other styles. Although a “plant-driven” landscaped area, there are also elements such as water, rocks for sunning, and sheltered areas that enhance the bird and butterfly experience. There are many plants that provide a food source and are useful for attracting these flying friends. Make sure the areas are open, yet protected from the wind, especially near the coast. Water is an important element to the garden. Designs include everything from a simple bird bath to a rustic wall fountain to a natural stream and waterfall system.


California Native Garden

Many Californians love their native gardens. Typically an informal look, this garden is not for everyone. There are times of the year when some plants go drought deciduous and other times when heading back of plants is necessary. In other words, the Native Garden looks extremely natural and informal based on local climate and weather. The native garden will attract many birds and butterflies. Since plant water consumption is the lowest of all the gardens, the use of water with bird baths, fountains, and small streams are appropriate.

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Xeriscape Garden

Although similar to the California Native Garden, this drought-tolerant, water-conservative garden features plants from all the Mediterranean regions of the world. Sustainable plants and sustainable hardscape elements are the focus of these gardens, including eco-friendly and green technologies such as rain water collections devices, permeable surfaces and minimal, if any, lawn. The lawn must be designed for the recreational family areas (back yard), not the non-recreational areas like your front yard. The use of low-growing lawn substitutes is recommended. The native garden will attract many birds and butterflies. Bird baths and small fountains are appropriate, along with a dry-stream bed with native rocks and gravel.


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Beach Bungalow Theme



With garden space at a premium, placement of the landscape elements and plants is critical to the functionality of the bungalow’s outdoor environment. Depending on the architecture of the home, a formal or informal theme should be established. Most bungalows feature a quaint, traditional family feel to the garden. This is accomplished with meandering pathways of brick, flagstone, limestone pavers, cobblestone, decorative gravel, trellises, and select water features, accompanied by flourishing fragrant flowering shrubs, vines, and small patio trees. Intimate seating and dining areas, a fire pit or fireplace, perhaps a water/fire fountain, is a must for the Beach Bungalow garden. As space allows, an organic spa or plunge pool adds the final touches to the cozy environment. Custom light fixtures makes evening activities and dining a pleasure. Plants should include soft foliage that moves with the ocean breezes.

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Beach Bungalow Elements: In addition to the hardscape elements mentioned above, essential bungalow outdoor décor includes garden furniture such as a decorative table, chairs, benches and built-in seating areas with colorful cushions and accessories. Ornaments that catch the ocean breezes are attractive, as are small wall fountains, bird baths, and sun dials/sculptures/statures that remain in scale with the yard.

 Beach Bungalow Plants: Pathways and walks are to be lined with small groupings of dwarf plants and non-creeping groundcovers. The Sea Pinks and Dwarf Mondo Grass foreground plants give way to Floral Carpet Roses, Gardenias, and flowering dwarf foundation shrubs. Vines and espaliers are an excellent choice to soften structures and walls.

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As you can see by the short description, it’s not the amount of elements and plants that make the Beach Bungalow a success, but the placement of those forms that creates an inviting, tranquil garden.

Rock Gardens

Coastal Rock Garden

Although this garden style title emphasizes rock gardens along coastal areas, these dramatic landscape statements can be incorporated into most garden styles, including slopes (see Slope Rock Gardens below). Many Southern California areas have native boulders in the areas surrounding the home sites or on the property itself. The Coastal Rock Garden is best used if you wish to have your landscape reflects the natural look of the area surrounding your home. Whether you live in a patio home or an estate, there is a place for a relaxing rock garden in your life. The rocks may be small and flat, or large angular specimens of various shapes, textures, and colors. Rock gardens incorporate a variety of low-growing, flowering shrubs and herbaceous perennials that become a secondary focal point for any garden. Artificial rock is also an excellent alternative, especially if a stream with cascading waterfalls is planned. Or, add a dry stream with rocks or decorative gravel meandering through the rock garden.

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Rock Garden Elements: The best choice for a rock garden style is an informal, flowing landscape theme. However, rock gardens may be formalized, especially when used as retaining walls, garden walls, or at the bottom of slopes. The main elements are properly placed rocks/boulders featuring elevations changes, however slight. Depending on the scale of your yard, the correct rocks/boulders are must be selected. Not to big, not too small. Natural looking, like you built the home around them.

Rock Garden Plants: The best  rock gardens feature small, low-growing plants in groupings such as Creeping Thyme, Sea Pink, Dwarf Mondo Grass, Alyssum, Snow-In-Summer, Blue-Eyed Grass, and Floral Carpet Roses with herbaceous plants such as Iris, Dianthus, and seasonal bulbs.

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Fantasy Rock Gardens

Fantasy ornaments give your garden a “fairy tale theme”. Examples are miniature statues, castles, paths, caves, and bonsai trees with cascading water. The fantasy features must be the same scale, including the plants. Think of Walt’s miniature gardens at Disneyland®. There is no reason why your yard can’t look like a scaled-down version of the Magic Kingdom®.

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Slope Rock Gardens

A rock garden on a slope looks beautiful, in both the front and back yards. The rock garden combines color, texture, and slope stabilization. The best slope rock gardens occur on the bottom third of the slope with groupings of exposed rock in groupings on the upper slope. Maintaining low shrub masses affords slope stabilization and “shows off” the rocks.

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My Garden

Patio Garden: Small Space Oasis

Patio Garden: Small Space Oasis

Many California homes have small space gardens in the front and back yards. Whether you live in a condominium, patio home, or a high density housing project—large home on a small lot—your goal is to make the most of your premium space. Whether it’s a simple wall fountain with lush, flowering plants, or a unique pool and spa with waterfall, your landscape plan must use the limited space properly, or your garden experience will not be a positive one. Whether you select a formal or an informal Patio Garden theme, the repetition of plants, hardscape elements, colors, and the balance of bold, bright features with fine, muted features must be consistent. Directing the viewer’s eye to a focal point, while making gradual changes in the height and color of the plant material, promotes visual depth to a cozy patio environment. Softening walls and structures with vines and espaliers makes the garden feel spacious. Outdoor social areas—gathering places—such as patio tables, benches, fire pits, and fireplaces with seating all add elevation changes. These elements are to be complimented with fragrant plants, various leaf textures, and garden sounds such as falling water.

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Patio Garden Elements:

Staying in scale with the space afforded is critical to the success of the Patio Garden. Install wall fountains / statues / sculptures / bird baths / urns with running water / fountains with fire and water / patio deck materials that compliment the inside flooring of the home / outdoor kitchen in scale with the yard / walkways that “disappear” behind foundation shrubs, giving the illusion of depth / seating and benches that add elevation change / containers of various sizes placed in groupings.


Patio Garden Plants:

The plant selection must be trees, shrubs and groundcovers that stay in scale, that is, do not grow too large. Successful plant choices include small foreground plants such as Sea Thrift, Dianthus, and Blue-Eyed Grass. Dwarf foundation plants such as Dwarf Daylilies, Salvia ‘Santa Barbara’, and Dwarf Kangaroo Paws add texture and color. Annual color is used as part of a focal point, an entry, or in containers. Perhaps a fruit-bearing Dwarf Citrus espalier against a wall, or dwarf flowering tree in container, suits your lifestyle. A side yard with appropriate sun exposure may be the perfect spot for a raised vegetable garden. Another consideration is mounded areas with succulent and rock garden plants. Mounds give a feeling of depth. Think of Disneyland®, where Walt placed a gigantic mound, or berm, around the entire park to make visitors feel they were surrounded by lush vegetation.

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