Santa Monica, CA
The owners of this garden are a young couple that requested a simple, contemporary garden to complement their newly completed renovation.
Although the house is situated on a relatively large corner lot, the rear garden was not as large as they desired, especially with two active young children.
My challenge was to mitigate the overwhelming presence of the garage, while satisfying the clients’ goals of providing ample play space for the young ones, a larger main patio for entertaining and a smaller, more private patio off of the guest-house, all while sticking to a relatively low-water plant palette.
I focused on bright yellows, vibrant oranges and rich greens in both the ceramic pottery and the plants. Two varieties of climbing roses, “Joseph’s Coat” and “Spice so Nice”, arch over the garage's back window, while punches of yellow and orange kangaroo paw enliven the space. An unusual Acacia vestita was used to separate the smaller guesthouse patio from the main garden. Situated below is a low stone-seat wall, clad with Arizona sandstone that is repeated at the main concrete patio closer to the house.
Plants that attract beneficial insects and hummingbirds were used such as Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lemmonii) and Coral flowering Agastache as well as fragrant Lavender. A vine that grows rampant through much of Southern Mexico, Thunbergia grandiflora, was used to cascade its lavender-colored blossoms over the perimeter wall. A cluster of Agave attenuatas and Echeveria ‘After Glow’ strike a contrast against the backdrop of Golden Bamboo.