This project proved a happy union between 2 avid gardeners, myself and the client from Massachusetts who was captivated by the fact that here in Santa Barbara we can plant succulents directly into the ground. The client was having a great time perusing Santa Barbara’s garden centers and finding plant treasures which we then incorporated into the garden. This was a client that needed to design while standing in the landscape working it out. We would ideate, make a plan for an area of the garden, execute it, then repeat. This requires always keeping the bigger picture in mind which was my job, otherwise the project can look piece-meal because, in a sense, it was designed that way. Part of the solution was to create 2 island beds in the back yard in which to display unique and funky succulents. The slope behind had broad brush-strokes of plant material to counter all of the varied and detailed action in the island beds. Succulents that are suitable for using en masse in the landscape were planted on the slope to tie into the succulent theme.

The house had been a long-term rental unit so the landscape was neglected and overgrown.  All fencing was replaced, trees were taken out and others pruned, the sloped back yard was terraced, disjointed patio areas were reworked, a stucco wall was installed, and we are still working on more plant material. Plant Joy had to handle various permitting issues with the City of Santa Barbara. In the end a permanent carport issue required advanced problem solving and creativity. Notice the planter box and decorative, custom wood screen seen in the photo at the top of driveway. This non-permanent fixture maintained City of SB requirements for a second off-street parking space while incorporating this space into the front patio.

It is one of my favorite gardens because of all of the plant treasures you discover as you stroll through. And the decorative screen that makes the patio special, structurally and aesthetically. And the stone, gravel and paver elements that, in the end, all blend into a pleasing hardscape palette.

Designed by Plant Joy

Landscape Contracting by Randy Wilson Landscaping

Fence by José D’Loera Gardening

Custom planter boxes & decorative screen by Magid Construction