Custom Residential

Zen Diego Residence

Zen Diego ResidenceOur dear friends had moved from a sprawling ranch in the country to a smaller property in town and wanted a Japanese garden.  Their side yard fronted a “paper” street, so after gaining permission from the City, we designed this low maintenance, Zen Diego style kare sansui (枯山水), complete with raked gravel, boulders, “islands” of creeping thyme, stone lanterns and tree form Wisterias.  The lower patio greatly expands the family’s outdoor living, suitable for large dinner gatherings. A nearby stone fountain completes the scene.

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San Diego Residence

San Diego Residence San Diego Residence

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Cute Coronado Cottage

Cute Coronado Cottage This 25 foot wide garden lot has become a pair of outdoor rooms for the owners and their children. The rear patio boasts a fireplace, barbecue, banquettes, brick and bluestone paving, eyebrow trellises, festive lighting and perimeter landscaping. A private shower is made from a surfboard (the contractor’s idea!!!). The parkways on the street are landscaped in true Coronado “Crown City” fashion.

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Rancho Santa Fe Residence

Rancho Santa Fe Residence

Hardscape features include a Moorish courtyard and fountain with runnel, a double sided fireplace, a complete outdoor kitchen/bar and adjacent firepit, a swimming pool and spa with waterfall, trellis work, walls, steps, and last but not least, an outdoor walled poker room. Landscape features include a great variety of highly drought tolerant and xeriphytic plant species. An herb and veggie garden with fruit trees provides an edible landscape component. The project also features LED Landscape lighting.

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Rancho Pacifica Residence

Rancho Pacifica ResidencePart of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) – San Diego Chapter’s  “A Landscape in Transition” Garden Tour 2010

The project included re-design of an existing landscape, especially the front yard, to make it more water conserving, and shows itself as a model of possibility for future residential water conservation. More than 50% of the existing turf was removed. The remainder was replaced with the low water use ‘U.C.Verde’ Buffalograss, which is as drought tolerant as ice plant.
The scope included all phases of design and HOA approvals through construction documents and construction administration for some flatwork and masonry, planting, irrigation and lighting.

ASLA Garden Tour 2010

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Rancho Santa Fe Residence

Rancho Santa Fe ResidenceThis custom home was carefully nestled into an almost unbuildable site. Rear deck and pools stand well above the adjacent grade and afford the owners wonderful vistas and sunsets. Design work included a large infinity edge swimming pool, a spa, several decks, waterfalls, terraces and hillside landscaping that are the stage for several large scale outdoor sculptures.

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Mission Hills Residence

Mission Hills ResidenceThe focal point in this home and garden is the dramatic vista of Downtown San Diego. Everything in the rear yard was designed to allow the view to be paramount. The curving swimming pool reflects the downtown sky and harbor, yet spills over ten feet down to the spa below. The visitor can descend with the water wall all the way down to the spa. The spa itself spills into a small trough, completing the cycle. Additional improvements include a steel framed shade structure which is completely adjustable, a modern patio deck and barbecue counter suitable for entertaining, lighted entry wall with address, landscape and dramatic lighting.

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Scripps Ranch Residence

Scripps Ranch Residence

2010 Pool & Spa News, In-ground Spa Master of Design Award.

Strong succulent textures and other nearly xeriphytic plantings are a counterpoint to stone and concrete walls and paving. The owners live their evenings in the rear yard, cooking, eating, and warming by spa and fireplace around a “broken” circle designed to remind one of California’s geology. A large slate wall spills forth with water into a pebbled basin. At the end of the garden, a large iron “torii bell” hangs, waiting to be rung. One low wall with bas-relief forming, pays homage to the venerable landscape architect, Isabelle Greene.

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North San Diego Residence

North San Diego Residence

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Mount Soledad Residence

Mount Soledad ResidenceSan Diego International Chapter of American Concrete Institute Project of the Year, 2000. Dramatic sculptural patio and raised deck create a dynamic outdoor living space. Design includes a water wall and water gardens, planted grotto and fountain, framed and enhanced by trailing vines and lush plantings.

After a newly framed room addition had swallowed up part of the rear yard, the owners realized they needed help.  Existing conditions included old and rotting railroad tie walls, and a steep, overgrown rear slope.

The program included a complete “re-make” of the rear and side yards and renovation of the front garden. The owners wanted to re-gain lost yard, maintain privacy and recapture a lost view to the bay. Existing brick paving was to be retained, where possible, with the remainder re-used in the new work.   They wanted a restful setting, quiet greens, a possible water feature, warmth in the sun and yet, respite from it.  The owners also had an affinity for plants.

The usable areas in the rear yard were small.  Carving so deep into the existing slope would require large retaining walls.  Somehow, these walls could not feel overpowering.  Creating an intricately woven series of curving walls, forms and water features (there are 3), would require careful design, detailing and execution.

While the owners had a general program, they gave the Landscape Architect complete design freedom. The Landscape Architect’s work included all exterior improvements from walls and stairs, water features, paving, drainage, woodwork, lighting and landscape.   The structural engineer worked for, and under the direction of the Landscape Architect.  There was some consultation with the Geotechnical engineer.  Since construction was an extremely critical component of the work, its prosecution was carefully guided by the Landscape Architect throughout the entire construction period.  The role of the builders, especially the concrete contractor, was essential to the success of this project.  Each of these poured-in-place concrete walls was essentially a one-time casting that had to be completely prepared, sequenced and finished before the next pour.  Any patching would show in the finish.

The project demonstrates the effect good design (and a command of the elements) can have on the quality of a place, the ability of Landscape Architecture to be transformative or transcendental, to be able to foster tranquility, serenity, a sense of wonder and oneness with the environment, and awareness of the precious nature of its elements. This garden is a composition in time, with a constant framework (the masonry) altered by the seasons, the years, color, sky or mood (evening use).

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Historic Coronado Residence

Historic Coronado ResidenceThis historic home on Coronado Island required a complete re-development of the site and landscape, with swimming pool, spa, 2 fountains, bluestone paving, barbecue, firepit, brick walls steps and wrought iron fencing, gates and new plantings. The flavor and style of the original architecture was retained in all development.

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla ResidenceAward winning pool design and landscape inspired by traditional European themes. Iridescent glass tiles on the spa add sparkle to the afternoon light, as the water pours over the infinity edge. The central feature of the garden is a cascading iron staircase descending from the rear of the split-level home into the garden.

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La Jolla Rose Garden

La Jolla Rose GardenA formally structured, craftsman era rose garden with herringboned brick paving, curved trellis, seat walls and a tile mosaic fountain that blends with the scene. Over 100 roses were arranged in according to color, type and height. Intermediate paths are decomposed granite. A tile artist was hired to create an exact replica of our design, a vignette into a trompe l’oeil landscape, using gold mosaics and stained glass.

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Old Town Residence

Old Town Residence

The owner’s house sits well above this garden, so viewing it from above inspired the geometric arrangement. Nearly xeriphytic plantings relieve the need for more than occasional care, while the owners veggie garden is neatly contained within oxidized metal planter boxes. Blue glass provides a striking accent; some of it is lit from underneath.

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla ResidenceLush, tropical planting provides a backdrop for the pool and lawn. A subtle waterfall into the pool provides a striking focal point for this award-winning design.

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Encinitas Garden

Encinitas GardenThis garden remodel became an outdoor “Great” room, complete with spa pavilion, kitchen area, rose arbors, secret garden, and fireplace with built-in flat screen LCD television. Featured in Better Homes and Gardens Remodel magazine, December2006/January 2007.

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San Diego Residence

San Diego ResidenceAward winning Japanese style garden includes pool and spa remodel, custom wood deck, railing and fencing, lighting, traditional stone borders and medallions.

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Rancho Santa Fe Residence

Rancho Santa Fe ResidenceEstate sized custom residence, including limestone paving, pool, two spas, two fountains, barbecue and outdoor cooking area, formal herb garden, several patios, terraces and Arte Povera(TM) stained driveway paving. These are in addition to well-appointed landscape improvements and lighting.

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla ResidenceSunken pool and spa are defined by dramatic stonework and walls set into a landscaped hillside.

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La Jolla Farms Stream & Pond

La Jolla Farms Stream & PondOur scope of work for this custom home was the repair and re-design of a large stream and pond and new landscape in the surrounding areas (the pre-existing stream and pond had leaked and were causing building damage). The water element was designed to have a Zen aura. Several small falls and a stone path across the pond were employed. Layers of planting include Bronze Loquats, tree Wisteria, Pittosporum, black pine bonsai, and a rich array of water plants.

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La Gracia Residence

La Gracia ResidenceWhen first arriving at this Country villa, it was hard to tell where the front door was. Our firm re-designed and re-graded the front entry drive, so that one could see where to go. Then we created a pedestrian portico, designed in the old rancho style, to capture the visitor’s attention and invite them in. Layers of trees and shrubs ring the front yard, and frame the portico. Once inside the gate, viewers are treated to a flowering walkway, and landscape, a long fountain, built into the slope, and serene water plants. The front door immediately follows.

The rear yard was enhanced to take advantage of the existing views. The pool and spa were remodeled, with a more classic appearance.

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Scripps Ranch Residence

Scripps Ranch ResidenceAward-winning pool, cantilevered over a canyon, water feature inspired by Moorish traditions, wood deck, louvered screens, eyebrow trellises and tropical plantings are included in this striking design.

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Poway Residence

Poway ResidenceDramatic, award-winning pool has a vanishing edge, which creates the illusion of water flowing uphill. The pool visually integrates the yard and unusual stonework with breath-taking views. (Photo courtesy of Rich Pecjak.)

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla ResidenceWaterfalls cascade down seven-foot high stone walls into the pool and behind the spa of this sculptural design. Exquisite stonework, planting and lighting enhance the landscape.

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Point Loma Residence

Point Loma ResidenceItalian style terraces, pool, spa, and tiled water stair set in a hillside garden. Other amenities include pergolas, loggia, greenhouse, unique solar heating system, and cistern.

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Fairbanks Ranch Residence

Fairbans Ranch ResidenceSite planning, grading plans and complete site development for a custom home on 1.67 acres in Fairbanks ranch. Pool, spa and treillage are integrated into a park-like setting. A ‘Lady Banks’ Rose arbor frames the view to the pool and spa.

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Solana Beach Zen Garden

Solana Beach Zen Garden

“Rough standing stones, a stream meandering, delight without end”.
(Muso Soseki – 14th century poet and garden designer).

This zen inspired garden design adds sacred qualities to the temple of the human spirit.  As you enter, large stones claim their presence, asking for your focused attention. Water pours forth from the building wall into a steel trough, then gurgles beneath your feet as you enter the temple. Around the side, an ofuru (hot tub), outdoor shower and stone slab and steps are carefully blended into a wood deck. In the rear garden, the wood deck acts as outdoor sitting pavilion and presides over a tranquil scene.

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Del Mar Residence

Del Mar ResidenceEntry garden with custom stonework and trellises provides a welcoming introduction to the landscape.

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla ResidenceArtfully designed flagstone paths are set in lush green lawn to create an inviting front yard and entry to the garden. Walls create privacy and a backdrop for colorful planting. Backyard includes a specially designed lap pool framed by a lion’s head fountain.

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San Diego Residence

San Diego ResidenceFeatured in San Diego Home/Garden Magazine, this notable design includes meandering flagstone walkways, artfully placed boulders, pebbles and plantings to complement the architecture and soften the geometry of the building. Design includes a large circular driveway, distinctive entry garden, patios, pool, deck and incredible views.

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La Jolla Farms Residence

La Jolla ResidenceComplete site development for a large Italian style villa built on a sensitive coastal bluff with sweeping views of the Pacific. 2 1/2-Acre garden amenities include granite block driveways, pool, spa, tennis court, 16th & 17th Century fountains.

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Pacific Beach Residence

Pacific Beach ResidencePerched above a native, coastal canyon this sun washed stone patio and spa take advantage of sweeping views of the Pacific. A water channel visually extends the spa and reflects the colors of ocean and sky.

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla ResidenceDramatic lighting accents this garden, which features a pool surrounded by carefully articulated walls and year round colorful planting. A covered wooden swing provides an intimate place to enjoy the garden views.

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Rancho Santa Fe Residence

Rancho Santa Fe ResidenceComplete site development including stone and turfblock driveways, treillage, walls and walks, grading, drainage and landscaping for a custom estate in Rancho Santa Fe. Seven large trees, one a 50-foot tall cedar of Lebanon, were successfully transplanted on this site.

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Rancho Santa Fe Residence

Rancho Santa Fe ResidenceLion’s head fountain with custom stonework provides an eye-catching focal point in the front yard.

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Poway Residence

Poway ResidenceColorful, drought tolerant, perennial borders, boulders and flagstone add drama to this artist’s garden. Work included driveway, walkways, trelliage, barbecue, patios and deck

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Whispering Palms Residence

Whispering Palms ResidenceThis composition with brick paving, turfblock, flagstone pavers, and colorful plantings creates a unique landscape design for this distinctive residence.

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Banker’s Hill Residence

Banker's Hill ResidenceMoorish inspired fountain provides a central focus to this attractive, private garden. Mature trees were preserved to define and enhance the character of the garden design.

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla ResidenceThis charming garden provides a visual respite from busy city life. Carefully placed flagstone medallions and brick edging create a focal point in the lush lawn. Profuse planting and a bench complete the composition.

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Coronado Residence

Coronado Residence

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Poway Residence

Poway Residence

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La Jolla Residence

La Jolla Residence

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Point Loma Seaside Garden

Point Loma Seaside GardenThis harborside garden has direct views past Point Loma to the open sea, and so has a strong ocean influence on the plantings there. Work includes a pool, spa, walls, enhanced tile and concrete paving, iron work finished in copper verde patina, and semi-drought tolerant Mediterranean and Caribbean (“Mediter-ribbean”) plantings.

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Rancho Santa Fe Residence

Rancho Santa Fe Residence

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David’s Garden – San Diego, California

David's GardenMy garden is very personal and understated. At first, the sound of a small, unseen waterfall beckons to you. Climbing the steps, you begin to sense the garden’s magnetism, feel its intimacy and hear its sounds. It doesn’t shout, it whispers. Large slabs of stone set the scale; several are longer than 5 feet. Following the Zen runnel upstream, past five different water sounds, one must cross a moat before arriving at the door. Goldfish add delight.

My garden flowers throughout the entire year. In fall and winter, the Nuccio’s Camellias display their famous blossoms above the ever-blooming Begonias. In summer and fall, the Sages reign, while spring brings a riot from the Rhaphiolepis, Geranium, African Daisies, Lavender, Primrose and Pelargonium. Colored foliage and texture compliment the drifts of plantings.

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