Under the Empress Tree

A Garden Is Transformed

The house was designed by a well known local architect in 1960. The homeowners, a lovely couple and their sweet dog, wanted to upgrade the landscaping as they enjoy entertaining and wanted to spend more time outdoors.

We began out back in the shade of the majestic empress tree. An old covered patio was restored, a floating deck was made with sustainably harvest Brazilian red wood, pathways were added and existing plants were rejuvenated. An unsightly heat pump visible from the living room was enclosed in a bamboo screen and surrounded by several colorful plants. We went plant shopping together to fill in beds selecting easy care plants for year-round interest. “We had our first big party last weekend, and people loved it.”

The front was next. A steep bank of ivy & juniper was torn apart, boulders were added and sturdy plants were added to create a tapestry of color, form and texture. Visitors are caught by surprise when they go up the stairs to the front door and find the bubbler, the rain garden, and the courtyard. “We’ll go out there for coffee in the morning or sit out there in early evening, and we keep getting neighbors stopping by. We’ll talk & talk. All because of having a new outdoor living space. … [I]t’s working as we hoped – some sense of privacy but still welcoming….”

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