Owner has a charming early 20th century detached granny-flat in back of their westside home. It was time for a new landscape. Again, a clean slate for Plant Joy.

Design “problems” for the site were heavy shade, necessary low maintenance, as is imperative with any rental unit, and a 3’ height deck that needed to be “set” into the landscape. Now when I say “design problems” what I mean is this: In every project there will be challenges. They might be aesthetic challenges such as architectural features or physical challenges such as poor drainage. No matter the challenge, these must be identified and dealt with first-off in the design process. The rest of the design can take shape around these issues, but to not address them at the beginning can be a stumbling block and a waste of client money and patience.

I went with a tropical theme of tree ferns, Cycads, palms, Philodendrons and Plectranthus. (These are bomb-proof plants.) The result is a true texture garden. On site we dug up and reused Clivea bulbs to great effect. Tired old bulbs often do better after disturbance. We delineated clearly the end of lawn and beginning of walkon bark, the lines of which were dictated by the existing lawn and how it had grown to the edge of sunny areas and then stopped.

It is difficult to find plants that will thrive under Citrus trees but Jade is a plant that can do so. We used some from other areas of the site thus saving money that could be used to buy larger specimen tree ferns and Cycads. Along the 2’ narrow pathway I chose diminutive plants that wouldn’t flop onto the path but that worked with the tropical, texturey feel. It really was the perfect shadey cozy space for a tropical paradise.

Designed by Plant Joy

Landscape Contracting by Cold Springs Landscapes