Monday, September 17, 2012

landscaping a mid-century modern home

After we remodeled our bathrooms, we were left with a 10 by 67 square foot piece of land off the back fence. I was terrified it would turn in a junkyard. Odd bits of yard are prone to become somewhat ghetto overnight ... a hose here, some unused lumbar there, random pieces of flagstone stacked up against a wall -- and before you know it, a blight on the neighborhood.  But, luckily, I had saved a tiny bit of the remodel budget to deal with our mid-century modern garden problem. I was obsessed with having a view out the new bathroom window:

mid-century modern landscaping before picture

I got my wish.

mid-century modern bathroom window after picture


You remember the BEFORE?

mid-century modern landscaping before picture

Pretty normal for a BACK back of the house. Except the sprinkler line was cut which elminates water to other areas of the yard, and when it starts raining we would have had mud slide. Due to the weep screed incident,  near the fence line, the yard was left approximately 6 to 9 inches higher than the strip near the house -- which would force rain towards the house during a big storm. BAD. 

The AFTER:

mid-century modern landscape design AFTER picture
Concrete pavers create the path
Our needs were simple. We wanted California native plants, sparse landscape, decomposed granite, concrete pavers and some sort of water feature (AKA bubbling pot). And we got it.

Our design held pretty true to the tips on Eichler for Sale who have recommendations for mid-century modern landscaping and garden design:
There are some general guidelines and tips to keep in mind when designing a landscape or garden to compliment Eichlers or other midcentury modern homes:

  • Allow the geometry of the home to guide the overall design of the landscape & garden,
  • Select water-wise plants that maintain their foliage year-round,
  • Allow hardscape elements to carry from the front yard to the back (including the atrium),
  • Repeat the use of certain plants throughout the landscape,
  • Consider a water feature,
  • Mix materials to create variety with textures (rock, grass, wood, metal, crushed stone) 

 Please enjoy the tour of our new back-back yard.


mid-century modern landscape design
Limited budget for lighting used wisely via Corona Lighting

Landscaping and gardening are such instant gratification. This landscape design project took only five days which included lighting, sprinklers, drainage, dirt and gravel removal, custom fountain construction & installation, hardscape and planting. Versus nearly six months to add the new bathroom addition (and a year of planning leading up to that).

mid-century modern landscape design
The crazy big pot from West Coast Pottery. Made in China. You can see it
from inside the bathroom.

mid-century modern landscape design
Assorted succulents, and grasses planted among gravel and Mexican pebbles

mid-century modern landscape design
The infamous bathroom window with grasses growing below.

mid-century modern landscape design
Careful and artistic pebble and rock arrangement.

mid-century modern landscape design
Pavers going around the side of the house, staggered placement very Eichler.

mid-century modern landscape design
Annie loves the new grass.

mid-century modern landscape design
Jack is concerned... look at the size of that thing!

mid-century modern landscape design
To the right, the tall, thin plant Cyperus Papyrus, landscaper used these throughout.

mid-century modern landscape design
More ornamental grasses.

mid-century modern landscape design
We are going to add a bigger pump to Mr. Pot.
He is a little under powered right now.

mid-century modern landscape design
Landscaper left a blank spot without plants along the wall, way towards
the back of this picture for a bench. More Craigslist opportunities.

mid-century modern landscape design
The little up lights on the trees are so pretty

mid-century modern landscape design
Leading back towards the main center patio

mid-century modern landscape design
A previous gravel section of the yard now has decomposed granite. Jack is happy.
Potential future home of a table and benches.

mid-century modern landscape
View of area that had gravel and was, frankly, a mess.
Now ready for garden furniture to sit and admire the new landscaping.

mid-century modern landscape design
Another view of the succulents

mid-century modern landscape design
"This would be a great spot to hide treasure." Don't be fooled by
the size of him, still a kid.

mid-century modern landscape design
Grasses planted in front of some sort of SCE box that we store
on behalf of the neighborhood.

I honestly can't get over the transformation. The rest of the yard looks pathetic by comparison. I am inspired.

Resources:
Dan Morines, Tropical Effects Landscaping, Yorba Linda, California,  dan@teilandscape.com, 714-455-2105
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15 comments:

  1. Love the sound of the water trickling out of the big pot. Very Zen.

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    Replies
    1. It is located fairly near the bedroom windows so I can hear it falling asleep. An unexpected benefit!

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  2. Rebecca, it looks fantastic!!! I enlarged every single photo and couldn't stop looking at all the beautiful features. Your landscaper did a great job. I know you're absolutely thrilled with the results.

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    Replies
    1. I am truly delighted. The landscaper absolutely nailed it!

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  3. You have done it..........looks great so natural and fits in beautifully, Jack may take a while to get used to it but you must be delighted. Hate to ask but your "to do" list seems to be getting shorter...........!!!!!

    Sally-Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, my to do list is getting a little shorter. But honestly, it is never ending. Plenty to keep doing.

      Delete
  4. Is your landscaper named Albert... By the way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, Dan Morines, Tropical Effects Landscaping, Yorba Linda, California, dan@teilandscape.com, 714-455-2105.

      Delete
  5. Wow... gorgeous! I love how the geometric pavers just sort of meander organically around the house. And the burbling pot is huge! I'd love to have something like that to look at in the bathroom.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kevin! The bubbling pot is HUGE. Mr. Landscaper was not impressed but went along with it. His fault, he let me go pick it out on my own. We are going to extend the pavers in other areas. Really like the look, and comfortable to walk on because they are kind of close together.

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  6. Love this Rebecca. My kind of garden. Perfect for Aus too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supposedly, an Australian botanist lived in our house at one time. We still have the odd remnant. One of the things we told the landscaper was that we wanted drought tolerant plants, like from Australia. He looked at us a little funny, but he obviously got it.

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  7. Love what you did with the landscaping. The concrete pads really look great and I love the Mexican pebbles. The look goes so well with the house! I had to do a double take, though - we ALSO have a calico cat named Annie! http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdnmich/3291695668/in/set-72157614085265092/
    Is she a kook like ours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your Annie and my Annie are twins separated at birth. We are the mutual landscaping admiration society. For sure. I really love yours. Yes, ours is a kook.

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  8. Hire San Diego Landscape Designers for satisfying your quench for mesmerizing beauty of your lawn and garden areas.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are appreciated!