A 28 year old spa and redwood deck were falling apart in this garden in Encinitas. The homeowners had already removed a decaying wood arbor and additional deck underneath a towering Podocarpus tree. Varying heights around the existing tree was creating a water-issue against the house. Boulders had been used for several decades to shore up the soil from against the stucco siding. Unfortunately the stucco had severe damage and needed repairs. Dozens of granite cobblestones were hidden in the old garden. The cobbles came from C Street in downtown San Diego, circa 1850.
The resulting garden has a Neo-Asian feel incorporating a glass tile fountain and reflecting pool, a new overhead structure with UV filtering shade cloth that protects but doesn’t overpower the space, and a synthetic turf area. The Podocarpus tree was thinned out aggressively to allow more sun to penetrate down to a new raised garden bed with Sago palms, various varieties of Ophiopogon (Mondo grass), and ‘Yellow Wave’ Phormiums. The cobbles were cleaned and repurposed to create a path from the side-yard to the backyard much to the surprise and delight of the Antique-loving owners.
While the backyard was under construction, we were retained to redesign the front yard. A new entryway and retaining walls invite guests to the front door. A custom rock fountain was constructed on-site to add sound and movement to the new front porch planting area. A Chinese Flame tree was craned in to provide shade over a ‘lawn’ of Sedges and Fescues (Carex albula, Carex testacea, Festuca mairei) ground junipers and Blue Fescue. The three small Black Pines (Pinus thunbergii) in the garden receive bi-annual pruning from a traditional Bonsai artist. One of the trees, upon further inspection, turned out to be a very rare Red Pine.