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 […]

Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden

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, […]

Beach Bungalow Theme

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. 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 […]

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.   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 […]

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. Patio Garden Elements: Staying in […]

My Garden

My Garden Blog

My first twenty-one posts will feature the 21 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 it, 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 and I now have a starting point that will grow into the quintessential garden of your dreams—a beautiful and tranquil outdoor environment. Wayne