Aug 13, 2017

Color Blocks


No Water? No problem! These beauties require little water, yet reveal a gorgeous
variety of colors that brighten up any garden space.

Written by B.B. Garibaldi

Aug 4, 2016

Hillside Retreat

This recently designed and installed Kensington garden has finally realized its potential!  From the top tier patio, the homeowners can overlook the garden and spy a view of the Bay. 

This No-Mow sod from Delta Blue Grass is a low water alternative to traditional sod.  The small lawn will provide a play space for young ones.  The blueberry hedge on the west side of the lawn offers instant refueling when energy runs low. 

Below the lawn is a veggie bed planted with espaliered fruit trees and stepping stones for easy access.

 The patio situated just off the kitchen offers a large area for entertaining.  To soften the wall of the house, decorative pots run along the opposite side of the veggie bed.

Stone steps with decomposed granite treads lead from the patio area up to the lawn.

Before Photos
A mix of brick, concrete and ivy was holding the hillside up.

DC hauling took care of the demo courtesy of the EXCAVATOR.
Post excavation.  The crew spent one entire day moving stone from the street to the back garden.
Dry stack walls being constructed.

Mediterranean Inspired Modern

The homeowner of this Italian inspired villa in the Oakland hills was looking for a planting plan that reminded him of the great gardens of Italy.  

This small version of a 'Grand' Italian garden is planted with a hedge row of Olive 'Little Ollie', Phormium 'Black Adder' Lomandra 'Seascape' and Aeonium.

The sunken patio was made using left over pre-poured concrete pavers set in decomposed granite.  The raised concrete beds are planted with Mexican Sage.

Jun 6, 2016

Moroccan Modern


This fun garden design project called for a contemporary fell with inspiration from the home owners love of Moroccan culture and color.  The photos above feature a Navajo flagstone patio, blue pergola with 3"x3" slats on the back and roof to provide a respite from the sun and a small grill canopy of clear corrugated plastic to allow the grill master to stay dry in the rain.

Along the edge of the patio and decomposed granite walkway are two "L" shaped veggie boxes and a perennial garden just beyond the boxes.

To increase storage space a multi-use she-shed was incorporated into the design.  Suddenly bikes and camping gear have a place to be stored and easily accessed.  The steel lined dg path extends to a side gate that leads to the front of the house. 

'Orange Cross' Kangaroo Paw hang out along the back side of the pergola.  A great foil for the Moroccan Blue.

May 23, 2016

Strike a Pose

Striking plants I've come across in local gardens and nurseries.
A custom corten steel planter created for screening.  Planted with
Pittosporum 'Silver Sheen' Sedum 'Angelina' and Dichondra. 
Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' with Agastache, Penstemon and Carex

A Rainbow Fern in Berkeley.  
Trillium at Bay Natives Nursery in SF.

Blue Agave at Fairyland in Oakland.
Kalanchoe and Salvia gregii

An urn amidst Lamium and Campanula
Path light with purple Loropetalum
Penstemon mixed with Variegated Plectranthus and Aesclepias and Nasturtium.
Various Euphorbias with Agastache

Apr 18, 2016

Step it up!

This lovely Kensington garden got a face lift with some new hardscape, lighting and bird friendly plantings.

The above 'after photos' show the new Bitterroot stone step and Connecticut Full Range flagstone patio.  The plantings surrounding the patio reflect the low light woodland nature of the property.  Also visible are the drip irrigation lines waiting for their mulch covering as well as 'Contempo' path lights from Hinkley Lighting.

These 'before photos' show the concrete patio that isn't visible in the 'after' shots.  The view and access to the lower garden is much more inviting to people and birds alike.

Feb 1, 2016

Inspired Design

This Berkeley Hills Garden is a work in progress.
The design worked with the existing retaining walls and hot tub enclosure with the goal of creating a usable patio and play space for the home owners growing family.

Existing raised beds were faced and capped with Mangaris, a south american hardwood.  

Here you see the steps leading up to the hot tub enclosure are no longer closed off from the remaining patio space.

Check back in a few weeks to see the completed project.
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