Fire Safe Landscaping at the Mid-State Fair

Fire Safe Landscaping at the Mid-State Fair

Learn how to make your landscape defensible during fire season

At Madrone Landscapes, we have dealt with properties in high fire danger areas for decades. There are many ways to enhance a property’s defensibility, whether through plant selection and design or irrigation and water system strategies.

Visitors to the 2021 Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles will be able to see for themselves some of these best practices at the Fire Safe Demonstration House for view from July 21st to August 1st. The model property will show strategies for living in fire-prone areas around the Central Coast, especially appropriate as fire season comes upon us.

The multi-phased project will be developed over the next couple of years, and Phase One is getting ready for this year’s Fair. After re-grading, tearing out old plants, and doing a weed abatement, Madrone transformed the space into a simple gravel landscape (one of the best options for fire safety). The open gravel area will accommodate shaded seating, a proposed “Hydration Station,” and educational messaging to help people visualize how they can keep their properties fire-safe. A future phase will feature a mobile multi-media educational exhibit, and the occasional visit by a fire truck.

This community education exhibit was created by the Fire Safe Council, spearheaded by Turko Semmes with Madrone Landscapes lending assistance. Semmes and Company built the structure, demonstrating closed eaves and partial straw bale, the latter being three times more fire-resistant than the average material. Also contributing to the fire safe landscaping message is the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden (SLOBG), whose Fire Safe Demonstration Garden can be viewed daily at the SLOBG grounds off Hwy 1 in San Luis Obipso, near Cuesta College.

Come visit the Demonstration House, a welcome respite from the hot Paso Robles temperatures, featuring shaded seating areas and the only hydration station at the Fair. Bring your water bottle and swing by for a fill-up!

People Love Us on Yelp!

People Love Us on Yelp!

Madrone Awarded Yelp! 2021 Honor

And that’s the amazing thing—we’ve won dozens of incredible awards from officials, regions, and authorities which identify our skills on a specialized level, but Yelp! ratings aren’t professional reviews. They’re the opinions of average folks like us and like you, and that’s what makes this so special.

Our community is deeply important to us at Madrone, so having the approval and support of our clients and neighbors is an honor, and we’re excited to display something so small as the “People Love Us on Yelp!” window cling that we received this year. We earned this award through having a significant enough number of positive reviews that we were singled out as a business of genuine quality, and we treasure every review that got us here.

This honor is for 2021, and we’ll be working hard to make our community proud every year to come. Thank you, everyone, for your support.

Coats for Kids of SLO County Call for Donations

Coats for Kids of SLO County Call for Donations

Coats for Kids of San Luis Obispo County is having a limited-time winter coat drive from January 25 to January 31, 2021. Due to pandemic restrictions, Coats for Kids held a limited coat drive in 2020, and the need is still great.

For one week, Coats for Kids donation boxes will be at five North County businesses. The boxes will be brought outside the front door during business hours and brought in at night to allow for social distancing. Donations of new or gently used coats, sweaters, and sweatshirts will be accepted in all sizes, but the need for kid’s clothes is greatest. Clothes will go to qualified families in North San Luis Obispo County.

Drop Off Locations (1/25/21 – 1/31/21 during business hours):
Madrone Landscapes, 8045 Morro Road, Atascadero, CA 93422
Atascadero Jewelry and Loan, 5550 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422
Nature’s Touch Nursery & Harvest, 225 Main Street, Templeton, CA 93465
Paso Market Walk, 1803 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446
New Day Church, 1228 11th Street, Suite 101 & 102, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Local businesses Plaza Cleaners (Atascadero and Paso Robles), Paso Robles Cleaners and Laundry (Paso Robles), and Fashion Dry Cleaners and Laundry (Atascadero) will be donating cleaning services for the collected clothing.

To learn more or make a tax-deductible monetary donation, please visit coatsforkidsslocounty.org.


About Coats for Kids of SLO County
Coats for Kids is an annual event that has been ongoing for 33 warm, wonderful years. Every year, volunteers gather, sort, and distribute new and gently used clothing of all sizes, giving warmth to families in need across the Central Coast at absolutely no cost to them. The volunteers work with multiple local businesses and charities to serve over 750 families.

Pataye Residence: 2020 Green Landscape Honor Award

Pataye Residence: 2020 Green Landscape Honor Award

Madrone Landscapes has been honored with the Central Coast Green Building Chapter Green Landscape Award for the Pataye residence.

The beautiful Pataye residence is a contemporary, off grid home featuring rammed earth blocks and set in a forest along the northern central coast of California. Madrone Landscapes incorporated the contemporary architecture with the mixed evergreen forest, maximizing usable outdoor space while minimizing maintenance and energy inputs.

The award-winning design includes a simple, low-maintenance plant palette to complement and showcase the modern home design, using native, drought-tolerant plants with dramatic details and striking contrasts. The foliage color and texture to create an impressive effect alongside the modern home.

Madrone Landscapes’ entry courtyard feature has a one-of-a-kind water wall that collects and cascades into a large reflection pool, stimulating all the senses. The diagonally-set pavers, featuring locally-sourced rock mulch, provide a striking accent that helps tie the contemporary with the surrounding landscape. Solar panels were installed to efficiently and automatically power low voltage LED lighting off the grid. Madrone also created a lawn area with a beautiful, native turf substitute. 

A subsurface drip irrigation system was installed to conserve water, reduce environmental impact and maintenance. A ‘smart’ irrigation controller was included which draws satellite weather information and automatically adjusts run times and saves water. Madrone’s design also redirects rainfall to the nearby natural creeks and watershed.

Madrone Landscapes wishes to thank the Pataye family and the Central Coast Green Building Chapter for this honor.

Project Architect: Jade Architecture
Contractor: Semmes and Co. Builders
Qualified Nurseries: West Covina, Boething Treeland, Native Sons and Village Nurseries

Newly Built: Atascadero Woodland Retreat

Newly Built: Atascadero Woodland Retreat

Some of our projects are intended for broader appreciation and aesthetics, while others are much more personalized. The Atascadero Woodland Retreat project was specifically catered to a more familial and hands-on finish with the client involved every step of the way.

Landscapes as a whole are meant to be actively enjoyed and cared for, which made this particular client’s requests exciting for us. This entire project was built upon the desire for an intimate space meant for interaction. With kids, pets, and the personalized intent of the space, we made sure that this landscape was one this family could make their own. Some of the design and construction leaned toward the traditional: paved paths, a large and intricate deck installation around their beautiful oak trees and fencing to keep kids and pets safe. But some of the project was quite innovative: rather than building out the collective vision entirely on our own, we provided planters with prepped soil and designated spaces for the clients’ own contributions and touches to the landscape.

This project required a lot of collaboration between the client, designer, and installation team, which in turn brought out the strengths of our design-build services. Thanks to the flexibility and easy communication created by our process, we were able to make well-informed design changes on-the-fly with the end result aligning with the client’s vision.

On the Boards: Templeton Vineyard Residence

On the Boards: Templeton Vineyard Residence

Landscaping is a living art that is first and foremost rooted in the natural canvases we are given. With the Templeton Vineyard Residence’s hilltop placement, we worked with sprawling views and gorgeous stone façades. Our job was to complement and balance those elements, bringing in texture and color to emphasize the natural landscape without blocking its stunning panorama.

Landscaping is a living art that is first and foremost rooted in the natural canvases we are given. With the Templeton Vineyard Residence’s hilltop placement, we worked with sprawling views and gorgeous stone façades. Our job was to complement and balance those elements, bringing in texture and color to emphasize the natural landscape without blocking its stunning panorama.

 For this project, we installed planting, irrigation, and lighting, all of which had to be orchestrated to complement the location. With its unique location and design style—contemporary southern estate— we were able to use a different plant palette than what is ordinarily seen in North County.

Through strategic plant selection and placement, we aimed to soften some of the harder lines from the built structures without covering up the gorgeous natural stone façade. We placed some trees to frame views and used others in procession, drawing the eye across the landscape. Masses of short, flowering plants were placed before the view to the vineyard, adding color and interest to the foreground without blocking or detracting from the view. This vibrant swath of planting makes an eye-catching display, as the subtle, textural variations, tonal color changes, and seasonal interests create a softer effect that enhances the vista.

The home was designed by Isaman Design Inc.
General Contracting by Mark Sullivan.