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| Ferrand|

This beautiful Newport Coast home had the most difficult of landscape environments: dry shade with pine trees from the homeowner’s association flanking the property.

The garden was a hodgepodge of poorly chosen plants that were barely hanging on in the conditions provided. There were large shrubs that were too large closing in the space. Artificial grass that led from the courtyard to the backyard looked completely out of place. The existing large fireplace in the backyard was a squatty, unattractive and odd shape that crowded the seating area. The backyard patio cover was covered with an unsightly variety of vines that were thick and heavy. There were several dark spots in the garden that needed brightening. This visual dissonance and poor use of space detracted from the pleasing architecture of the house.

In the new design I used plant materials that are naturally found in this distinctive environment where they thrive and bloom. I started with specific ground covers planted en masse with light green leaves and variegation to brighten the shade and quiet the visual noise. Other plant varieties such as Foxglove, Lenten rose, Japanese anemone, and Coral bells are interplanted throughout the ground cover creating a delightful woodland effect. Where there is partial shade; Oakleaf hydrangea, Valerian and Pittosporum silversheen all gave needed height and privacy.

The artificial turf along the courtyard path and hodgepodge planting were replaced with gravel resulting in a clean spacious look. I added a gate to the other side of the courtyard to echo the already existing one on the other side. A hedge was added to hide the unsightly pool equipment from both the courtyard and backyard seating area. The courtyard fireplace was repaired, improved, and re-plastered in a richer color. A Boxwood hedge was planted in the courtyard bed edged with white Bacopa to trail at the base. These changes showcase the courtyard, giving more space and an afforded new sense of serenity.

The backyard fireplace was redesigned, demolished, and reconstructed. The new beautiful fireplace gave the seating area more space. The melaleucas were underplanted with Japanese painted fern which tolerates the shade conditions and gives bright contrast with its gray green leaves. We replaced the over grown vines on the patio covers with white Wisteria vines which put on a spectacular show of blooms in the spring and add wonderful fragrance. This design allows more sunshine in the cool winter months when the vine is deciduous.

Finally, plantings of spotted variegated nettle created bright spots in the otherwise dark areas of the back yard. We replaced the old pots with larger provencal pots and planted a variety of citrus trees in them.

The new garden design transformed the outdoor areas of this lovely home and created inviting areas that epitomize southern California’s Mediterranean lifestyle at its most appealing; allowing the architecture and the elements to harmonize.

Click here for the Before and After Gallery.

Click the images to enlarge.