Monday, July 25, 2016


I have been doing several videos about client gardens and loving it.  It is fun to share my work with you and to be able to use those projects as biz promotion.  This is somewhat different the things I used to blog about.  As my business evolves so do the things I share.  Originally I wanted to make this blog your go to place to learn about California native plants and while that is still true, I also want to also add client projects so that you can see California native garden in action.  There will also be a series of videos about native plants depending on your situation and what you are looking for (shade, food etc.).  

Now I would like to as a favor from all of you...  What would you like to see more of here?  Any specific landscape related posts or videos?  Comment below and let me know.  

Do you have a native garden?  If so then I would love to blog about it and even do a video about your garden.  As much as I love designing native gardens I also love the idea of sharing what others have done.  

Friday, July 8, 2016


I recently went back to revisit a clients garden in the city of Irvine to check on the garden progress and was pleased at what I saw.  This was a front yard that was lawn and more lawn with some cracked concrete that had to be redone.  Almost everything was gutted and replaced with California native plants, a few California friendly plants, pavers for the driveway and main path along with a wall to denote the outside seating area.

Some of the plants we used are:

  • Galvezia juncea 'Gran Canon' - Baja Bush Snapdragon 
  • Salvia greggii - Autumn Sage
  • Salvia clevelandii - Cleveland Sage 
  • Mimulus puniceus - Red Monkey Flower
  • Trichostema lanatum - Woolly Blue Curls 

Friday, June 17, 2016


Kill your lawn and increase your property value! This has been my motto for the past few years and I stand by it.  I get that if you need lawn for kids or dogs then by all means have it and hopefully you utilize more sustainable lawn options like Carex pansa.  But otherwise I just don't see the point.  In this case my clients in Mission Viejo had lawn and cracked concrete that they wanted to replace. The kids had fled the nest and having the lawn was no longer necessary.  Their driveway was cracked and needed to be overhauled as it had also created various trip hazards.

In this case there was only one solution...  Gut everything and start from scratch.  The design intent was to use soft set flagstone throughout most of the garden and only mortar set it where it was necessary to do so.  We also used California native plants to help bring in the local wildlife and added two rain barrels to catch whatever water comes out of the gutter.  That combined with some boulders and accessories makes this a true sustainable garden.

The materials we used are:

  • Flagstone - color butternut (formerly known as oaklahoma buckskin) from Resource Building Materials in Lake Forest.  They also have several other locations.   
  • Rain barrels - provided by the homeowners local water agency.  
  • Boulders - already existing on site and re-purposed.
  • Plants:
    • Existing Crape Myrtles
    • Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn' - McMinn Manzanira
    • Calylophus hartweggii - Sundrops
    • Eriophyllum nevenii - Catalina Silverlace
    • Galvezia juncea 'Gran Canon' - Baja Bush Snapdragon
    • Mahonia aquifolium - Oregon Grape
    • Oenothera speciosa 'Rosea' - Pink Evening Primrose
    • Salvia clevelandii - Cleveland Sage
    • Salvia clevelandii 'Alan Chickering' - Alan Chickering Cleveland Sage
    • Salvia greggii 'Coral' - Coral Autumn Sage