A Blog about Landscape Design in San Diego
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You gotta love this home in Venice Beach, CA.

story by Debra Prinzing

EXCERPT: “The exterior walls of the new wing of the Bricault family’s Venice home are clad in sedums and other succulents, which soften the contemporary architecture so it looks like a plush, verdant floating cube. Paul Bricault likes the way the horticultural house gets people talking.

“Everyone who comes here looks at it with this quixotic expression. We get all sorts of questions, including, ‘Do we have roots coming through the inside walls?”








Full Story

 Vess Residence






So last Friday the show, “Bang for your Buck” profiled three San Diego landscapes – or Outdoor rooms. Jamie Durie was the guest host, and the Vess House was chosen as one of the three projects. The price point being compared was $110k . The Real Estate Agent and Durie tour the homes, and based on what was accomplished for the budget, decide who will get the largest return on investment.

Now, we are in a funny real estate market, are we not? And besides the fact that pricing a home and its amenities is an extremely subjective and variable science, pricing any real estate right now has to be tricky. That all being said, the Vess home tied for first place with an 80% return on investment – not too shabby…. but wait! What the show failed to make known (not the show’s fault, it was only a 22 min episode) is that the Vess residence has applied for and achieved Historical status which results in a significant tax break – and is transferable if the owners decide to sell one day. Because this was desired from day 1, several materials were specified (RR ties, unfinished block, aggregate concrete, minimal modern amenities) that would be in keeping with an early 60′s landscape. This style meshed well with the Owner’s desires for the property, and the project moved forward.

The great part about the episode was Jamie Durie’s enthusiasm for the landscape and the home. He mentions several times “wanting to buy the Vess house”. After taping, we had lunch together and discussed his recent projects (including Charlize Theron’s garden) and his other show on HGTV, “The Outdoor Room”, of which I’m a huge fan. In my experience the show is a fairly real interpretation of the design/build process… except for the fact that I don’t get to have an all expenses paid trip to Kyoto if I want to design a Japanese Garden. Durie basically gets to do what all of us Landscapers would LOVE to do… that is, visit an inspirational place, take photos, meet local people, and then return to reality and build a garden evoking the sentiment and feel of the inspired location. WOW, what a job! Suffice to say, I’m working on my tan and my Australian accent…. HGTV are you reading this?

When possible, we will link the episode on the site.