Fully utilizing & enjoying outdoor spaces!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Time to Freshen Things Up

Watch as we give this property a fresh new look, and....... a new spa too. We just started this project in Irvine California this week. The owners had their yard installed by a local Landscape Contractor almost 10 years ago and although it looked nice for for a while the homeowners complained that it was looking too 'Over Grown' and 'Prehistoric'. The want a cleaner look with plant material that is beautiful yet low maintenance. That is where Garden Studio came in. The homeowners also realized that it was time to install a new Spa along with an elegant Water Feature outside the formal dining room. The existing architecture of the home is very attractive and the bones of the yard are good.

So Garden Studio has a plan to turn this property around and give it the fresh look the home owners are looking for. Check back and I will give you updates on our progress along with the finished project.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Favorite Rose

Rosa 'Joseph's Coat'

I really admire roses and appreciate those gardeners that can keep them looking beautiful but as a landscape designer I use then only sparingly. They are a demanding plant that need tending and all too often look bad. However here is one on my favorites. Anyone can have great success with this one....... Rosa 'Joseph's Coat' is a climber and produces clustered buds. The blooms put on quite a show with petals changing from yellow to orange to crimson. How fun..... This rose has glossy green leaves and as a small climber can be managed in our backyards. The good news is that they are considered a 'Re-bloomer', that means that they don't just bloom in Spring but re-bloom throughout the year. This rose requires full sun, has a light fragrance and is considered very resistant to disease. It's practically perfect in every way......

January and February are a great time to plant roses. Keep in mind that once you plant a climber like this give it a couple of years before you prune it back. Once it is established it is very easy to maintain. Use it to surround a garage door, along a picket fence or on the posts of a shade structure.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Warmth of Wood details.....

Wood has always been an obvious choice for Patio Furniture but as a decor choice we sometimes forget it's value.

The natural wood bowl is so graceful.

These wood spheres bring life to this smooth stucco mantel.

Fill any of these vessels with fruit or candles and they act as instant sculpture on an outdoor dining table.

This slightly industrial wood planter would look great planted with a Boxwood Globe or an Agave plant.

Monday, February 1, 2010

W e a t h e r i n g the 'STORM'..........

Wow......now that was a big storm and it sounds like there might be more to follow this season. We haven't seen weather like that in years. The dark gloomy cloud cover really brought out the vivid colors in the landscape! The deep rich colors of green in the garden came alive and the tan and grey colors in the stucco and stonework looked so rich. The warm terra cotta color in the used bricks gave an earthy hue. What a contrast to our usual bright sun. Actually from a design perspective our Southern California sun, as nice as it is, can 'wash out' the landscape.
This is why it is always a good idea to choose deep rich colors in both hardscape and softscape decisions. A deep stucco color like Omega #412 in the landscape makes the greens in the garden really come alive.

Be sure to check on a couple of things in the garden once the rain has passed:

Place cushions on an angle in the sun to allow ventilation and to prevent mildew.

Clear drains if the your gardner has not been able to drop by for clean up. A small pile of leaves can clog the drain and create a small flood in the yard.

Turn off irrigation for a while, the garden is drenched but don't forget to turn it back on when things warm up.

Be ready for the next storm and plan to set aside the afternoon with a fire in the fireplace and a good book.........sometimes we need an excuse like rainy weather.