A Blog about Landscape Design in San Diego
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T3

T3

My sister-in-law, Jojo sent me a link to this great blog “Inside the Loop” . She figured I would enjoy the Japanese Ikebana arrangements… and she was right. It made me think about some of the arrangements that I have done in the past, mostly with succulents. Succulents are SO easy, and the fact that most require very little water and can handle filtered sun makes them perfect for office windows, indoor table-tops, and really anywhere else. A great idea: keep one arrangement outdoors in elements, and the other in your favorite spot indoors.

Using simple pots in basic shapes ensures that the pot will compliment, not compete, with the plant scheme. Depending on the plant choice, I like to either plant en masse or take two or three varieties and place them according to growth pattern. This is where it helps to know how the plants will grow. If you are using succulents, check out this website (www.plugconnection.com) for comprehensive growth information on several different succulent varities. If grasses are more your style, stick with the festucas or mondo grasses (ophiopogon japonicus). If the container is large enough, Mexican Feather Grass (Stipa) or any of the pennisetum varieties make great specimens surrounded by creepers like trailing rosemary, Tradscantia, or Ipoemia.(Potatoe vine).

I like to dress the pots with decorative gravel, sand, or glass. Wood bark is too messy and degrades over time. I also prefer to use concrete, terrazzo, glazed ceramic, or fiber-cement containers. Terra Cotta pots are cheap and can be planted up and placed in a more-expensive container and top-dressed. This is especially useful if your using a container that doesn’t hold up to the elements, like Zinc or wood.

I especially love the tray planters that we manufacture and sell. They are created with either stainless steel or weathered and lacquered steel. I use bromeliads, succulents, Air plants, orchids, and whatever else is lying around that needs a home. They are called trayscapes and come in three sizes T1, T2, and T3

They are available for purchase at Mixture in Little Italy and Grounded in Encinitas. Custom arrangements and commissioned pieces available upon request.

T1 with bromeliad, and succulents

T1 with bromeliad, and succulents

T2

T2

Almost everybody has a hard time visualizing what a landscape looks like if they’ve never seen it before. Some of us have better imaginations than others, but for the most part we all need to SEE “something” before we can believe it.

When I meet with potential clients I usually within the first 5-10 minutes of touring their space will know what I would do with it. This can be helpful, but it can also hinder the design process. Why? Most of the time my client’s budget is nowhere near my imaginary rendition of their yard. I will sometimes cut off the person mid-sentence and pull out a piece of paper and furiously draw a plan view schematic of the yard or will sketch a three dimensional element that will be pivotal to the design. It baffles me every time, but invariably my chicken-scratch of a drawing does more to explain my vision than I could ever care to articulate verbally.

There are a number of 3D programs out there, some good, others painfully soulless. So imagine my happiness when I came across Sketch-Up. Yes… it has been around for awhile, mostly used by Architects and interior designers. But when applied to the landscape world, Sketch-Up allows one to take the blurred visions of a left-brained plant guy and translate them into eloquent and startlingly beautiful pictures… from any angle… of the prospective new space. Check it out…

Rough Pencil Sketch

Rough Pencil Sketch

add some color...

add some color...

et viola... Finished product

et viola... Finished product

Pretty cool.

This landscape was completed back in December of 2008. Here are some updated photos… Thats Emily the bulldog

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