Sometimes we can't budget a total renovation, but we can splurge just enough to create a more inviting space using what we already have and enhancing it. This small patio with mature trees surrounding it was re-created for a more intimate use and sectioned off from the rest of the landscape as a room of it's own with Asian influences. The Date Palm fronds act as a ceiling while a variety of plants, trailing geranium, Cotyledon succulents, Society Garlic, and various sedum make for an interesting vertical garden.
A secret path of leftover pavers leads to a secluded hammock in the shade. Heuchera "Purple Palace' and Variegated Society Garlic add color and texture.The Chinese Frizzle Flower and magenta Azalea are in Spring bloom and add interest to the character of the still dormant Japanese Maple making up one side of this outdoor space.The patio feels secluded although other areas are viewable and accessable such as the family lawn.
This project is joined with another phase on the otherside of this arbor portal.
A Blank Space can be a Sancutuary
This transitional patio between the yard and the house is walled off by a vegetable bed and potted plants to the lawn area.
These 16" pavers were grey concrete and three applications of mahogany concrete stain gave them a deep red color. Surrounded by "mountain granite" pea gravel gives a casual look to the space. For concern with pets, make sure the pavers are close enough for your pet to move across without stepping in pea gravel. Dogs especially do not like pea gravel since it gets stuck between their toes.
Another option would be to lay 1/4" micro soaker tubing along the rows and plant a ground cover between the pavers such as Dymondia, Sedum or Thyme. Thyme will attract many bees when in bloom if that is a concern.
Another option to a water feature which can be costly and full of maintenance is a faux or small water feature.
Using green Society Garlic to imitate reeds and a Strawberry Jar planted with Sedum and hardy succulents and then topped with a small pottery and small pump fountain. Rocks are placed over and around the fountain and even birds find it refreshing. River rock in between the plants along with some rounded gravel helps further imply the water habitat without using much water at all. Another option would to plant Variegated Society Garlic or Blue Fescue in place of the fountain to mimic water.
Rear Hillside Garden
This hillside backyard needed some terracing to create function in a tight yard. The tired concrete slab on the lowest level needed a facelift and expansion with flagstone. The deck was too small and needed to be enlarged with added built in seating.
After the install, this hillside now has many useful areas. Once the plants grow in, there will also be year round color.
Tired Japanese Garden gets Revived
A section of this existing Japanese garden had become rather bare and needed an infusion of new plants. Although many traditional Japanese gardens are often various values of green, these clients enjoy color. Although during this consultation we discussed many different problem areas around the landscape, this small patio area was our primary focus.
A landscape design was created for this area outside the slider showing the selected materials at full mature size.
The client especially liked two existing azaleas elsewhere in the adjoining space, so we decided to continue with those same cultivars to maintain cohesiveness.
A variegated Lily Turf was also recommended to add color during non-bloom time and to add a different texture opposed to the evergreen azaleas. It is also found in other areas near a Redwood tree and will help unify the entire backyard which is not all Japanese garden themed. Additionally, the soil is mostly exposed and adding Irish or Scotch moss would imitate the use of moss in traditional Kyoto Japanese gardens.