Vess Residence, Architect: John Mock
The award-winning Vess Residence will be featured in a private Garden Tour this Sunday (5/3). Only four homes are featured on this tour, sponsored by the Grossmont / Mt. Helix Improvement Association, and at each home local artists are highlighted. At the Vess Residence the art of Caroline Morse, Christine Waters, and Brent Foster will be shown.
“This beautifully restored mid-century modern home, San Diego Home & Garden Magazine’s “2009 Home of the Year,” features a handsome drought-tolerant garden situated on a hillside slope. Bryan and Jora purchased the home just two years ago. In only nine months, Jora’s brother-in law, a landscape contractor, transformed the one acre plus parcel into the award winning design you see today.
When they bought the home, the entry was covered by overgrown juniper. Bryan and Jora uncovered the entry area to discover rockwork created by the original builder. These dramatic boulders were moved to their current location to clear the original building pad. A walkway leads to the front door and welcomes guests with a freeform Malcolm Leland “LS” sculpture and koi pond. The lower left portion of the property has been terraced for four productive raised beds where seasonal vegetables are cultivated, a large chicken coop housing seven laying hens, and a fruit tree grove. Paths made of decomposed granite wind in a field of lavender, rosemary, sages and prostrate coyote bush. Mature oleanders surround this area for privacy, along with established silk floss, jacaranda, and podocarpus trees.
Climb up a few steps to the house site. Here you will find a palo verde tree, varigated agave, barrel cacti and various ornamental low water grasses. Follow the gravel path to the upper level that offers eastern views and overlooks the pool area. Planting of Lady Banks roses cover the fence, along with Pride of Madeira. Octopus agave, blue fescue, blue chalkfingers, and aloe with grey tones compliment the poolside area. The pool has a large shallow sun shelf and integral cover to ensure safety for the young family. This lush yet low-water garden incorporates sensitive design, careful planting, and meticulous maintenance to inspire the viewer.”