This house had no landscaping and is set in the chaparral of Montecito.  The neighborhood adheres to a strict low water landscaping policy. The owner wanted low maintenance plants in a simple design of masses of flowering Salvias, Gauras and Lavendars.  (Note: There is no such thing as a no maintenance landscape. See below for more information.*)  This back patio with its gorgeous natural stone retaining wall sits on the cool north side.  Since it is surrounded by native oaks and understory natives, we created a woodland groundcover planting to blend into this natural landscape.  That’s the fun of landscape design, a woodland garden was created using Japanese Anemone, Plectranthus, Hummingbird Sage (a California native plant), Calla Lily and Pink Knotweed.

Also notice the very small concrete pad of the back patio.  The client wanted to expand this for under $1000.  Simple inexpensive red pavers were laid in sand with a metal edge set in concrete.  This created a simple, inexpensive  and useable space that is inconspicuously set amidst the woodland plantings below, native oaks above and a handsome stone wall.

*Note:  Because landscapes are living and growing entities, ie ecosystems, if an installed landscape is left without maintenance it will disappear into the native ecosystem of that area.  So any installed landscape must have, at a minimum, weeding, pruning and a little supplemental water.