Whitefield Dahle Residence

There was so much old and deteriorated concrete to be demolished in this garden, along with an enormous and unusable swimming pool.  We were able to recycle all of it and ended up with this comfortable space surrounded by native and compatible plants.  We were also able to extend the eucalyptus fencing thanks to the neighbor's provision of the beautiful lumber.

Garden Timber Use

Alas, we had to remove a number of sickly red gum eucalyptus trees from a hillside property.  Fortunately, the lumber could be milled by a portable mill brought to the site and, although much of the timber remains stickered and stored for future use, we were able to use the weighty split branches and trunk crotches in combination with concrete slabs to create a garden living area.  Some of the planks made excellent fencing.

Photography by Mitch Maher, San Francisco, CA

Moyd residence, Pasadena

dominion-15
dominion-15
Moyd 1
Moyd 1

When this garden matures it will be full of seeds and fruits for the local bird population.   Goldfinches love it and bees and butterflies have moved in.    Those industrious birds cleverly planted the sunflowers for a more reliable food source now!  For removing her lawn the owner was rewarded with a generous rebate from the local water agency.   The first picture was taken in January and the others just five months later in June.  What a difference spring rain makes.

Bird and pollinator haven 2
Bird and pollinator haven 2
DG path
DG path
Bird and pollinator haven #1
Bird and pollinator haven #1

Marks residence, Altadena

marks_boulder_ave-3
marks_boulder_ave-3

This rambunctious natural garden filled  with a mix of California native plants and Mediterrean species, just installed in October 2011, replaced a lawn partially shaded by a lovely old sycamore.   The space has the lush feel of an English country garden.  The client wished for a lively mix of plants surrounding the large boulders excavated from the site.

marks_boulder_ave-7
marks_boulder_ave-7
Marks8, 6.12
Marks8, 6.12
marks_boulder_ave-6
marks_boulder_ave-6

Corser Residence

Corser  front entry
Corser front entry

The owners of this lovely craftsman house, situated in oak woodlands, needed a garden that gave them space for their frequent events. There are daily visits from a herd of deer so the plant palette was rather limited by their hunger as well as the prevalent shade.   The plants are a sturdy mixture of California natives, shade loving Mediterranean and succulent plants.

Corser terrace
Corser terrace
Corser stone floor
Corser stone floor
Corser drain channel
Corser drain channel
Corser terraces
Corser terraces
Corser fireplace 2
Corser fireplace 2
Corser front walls
Corser front walls

Amsler Rabe residence

This stylish modern house needed visual stablilization in the front yard, and a rectilinear design was chosen.  The backyard in contrast is curvilinear.    Many of the plants chosen for both areas are California natives. 

Textured walls
Textured walls
Amsler Rabe front yard
Amsler Rabe front yard
Amsler back yard
Amsler back yard

Photograph by William Rabe

The backyard is a relaxing space full of flowers, birds, butterflies and bees.  Instead of the lawn there is now a comfortable dining area and a colorful garden. 

Teucrium fruticans
Teucrium fruticans
Stapelia
Stapelia
Buddha bathing
Buddha bathing

The fountain receptacle is covered with pebbles to prevent evaporation, and to allow birds to sip as they contemplate Buddha.

Photography by Mitchell Mayer

Haft residence

Haft_Fountain_2
Haft_Fountain_2
Haft_Water_Tank
Haft_Water_Tank
Haft_Fire_Pit_and_Bench
Haft_Fire_Pit_and_Bench

This small courtyard garden surrounded by assorted neighboring garage walls is sustainably designed.  A 750 gallon water tank collects rainwater from a neighboring roof pitched into the garden and, in tandem with a deep gravel seepage pit in the center of the space, collects water before it penetrates the basement.  The concrete benches and paving are recycled. The fountain is covered to allow birds to perch and to prevent evaporation.  The gas firepit was poured in place.  Most of the plants are native, chosen to feed pollinators.

Hafts_Nov
Hafts_Nov
Haft_Yard
Haft_Yard
Haft
Haft

And here is what we started with: