Friday, November 17, 2017

DESIGN STORIES - IRVINE PROJECT INSTALL USING OLSEN PAVERS

The one thing I love about designing outdoor spaces is creating a look that is not cookie cutter.  One that is custom to the client, their home and the environment.  You just can't get a look that suits your every lifestyle with a cookie cutter design.  Nor will it look nice.  In this custom case the homeowners wanted more hard surfaces and less planting since they love to entertain and have lots of parties.  They were also open to the idea of using pavers, which adds permeability to the garden and is very functional.  For both the front and the back we used plant timber top with a runner pattern in color hazelnut from Olsen Pavingstone

The planting will take place in March because the homeowner wanted some edible plants that will not be available from the website she buys from until then.  There is also lots of pottery, which still allows for plants, just not in ground.  Overall this project turned out great and I am really happy with the results.  Not to mention the pavers look dope.  The below video is of the install. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

TOP 8 DESIGN MISTAKES TO AVOID MAKING

I have been designing landscapes for 17+ years and have seen some questionable landscapes.  Mistakes that are easily avoidable if the right steps are taken.  Admittedly I have also made design mistakes in my career.  That is why I am sharing with you the top 8 design mistakes to avoid making.

These 8 mistakes are:

  1. Having zero clue what you want.  Even if all you have is some images of things that caught your eye, then at least you have some ideas of things you fancy.   
  2. Not having a scaled plan.  A scaled plan gives you a clear look of how much space you actually have to work with.  No guessing games of how much room is there to plant in.  
  3. Not understanding the site.  You have to know how much sun or shade your garden gets so that you can plant appropriately.  Maybe there is a view you want to hide or enhance.  
  4. Budget.  Typically 10% of you property value is roughly what you might spend in your landscape.  This is assuming that you get all kinds of bells and whistles like a custom bbq or some fancy feature.  Understanding how much money you can realistically will effect what you can have done in your garden.  
  5. Not considering how you or others intend to use the space.  Maybe there is a dog that will need an area to go.  Perhaps there are kids or grand kids that want an area to run around and play.  How about entertaining?  
  6. Not considering scale.  You can't plant a tall tree in a 2' planter.  If a shrub gets 3'X3' then you have to leave 3' diameter of room around the plant to allow for the plant to grow.  
  7. Not choosing the right materials.  You should consider California native plants if you live in California.
  8. Not consulting with a designer.  You can call a local designer that suits your fancy and say hey can I meet with you for an hour to discuss my garden for a small fee?  This is great if you want to DIY the garden.  

Friday, November 3, 2017

ZERO WASTE PLASTIC FREE SHOPPING

What I love about shopping plastic free is just that...  I get to do so free of plastic and mostly free of packaging.  You can go shopping almost anywhere and not use plastic.  You can bring your own reusable bags and things.  It is not really inconvenient but is so much more thrilling and fun when you get the glory of knowing that you are not polluting the environment.  I made some reusable produce bags that I sewed by hand and some that I bought at IKEA.  It really is not complicated. 

For me living this lifestyle was not just about the environmental impact but also my health.  I wanted to eat as cleanly as possible.  I will only live once and wanted that one life to be as awesome as possible.  On that note watch this video to see how I shop waste free.