As part of this Shell Beach Residence’s major remodel, we are designing an outdoor sanctuary by creating a beautifully contemporary, tropical California landscape.
A unique space that requires plenty of communication and creativity, this design is the epitome of an oasis. It is both striking and practical, formed by three differentiated spaces within one cohesive whole and designed to be split in half by a roll-out gate. This gate, strategically placed within the patio and complemented by the yard’s single-palette planted border, allows guests a feeling of privacy while creating a manageable visiting space for the owners.
From raised garden beds to a built-in spa, this coastal residential landscape harmoniously blends multi-functional features with a stunning, tropical California aesthetic. A bit different from the North County plant palette, the well-drained, irrigated, and thoughtfully-placed materials emote the feeling of a tropical vacation—truly a paradise!
It’s that time of year again: Summer! The sun can do a lot
of good for your plants in the garden, but not everything can handle the
heatwave blaze. Here are 8 back-bone plants to rely on when the temps are high
and the air is dry.
Agave ovatifoliais family to the famed Century Plant which is prized for its durability and form. This variety, known as Whale’s Tongue Agave, stays much more compact, and has attractive blue/gray foliage with small teeth along the margins of each succulent leaf. A single, dramatic flower spike blooms at maturity. It is a sun-loving, drought tolerant succulent which will add sculptural interest to any summer garden!
Another California Native and reliable performer is Ceanothus! Known by many as California Lilac, Ceanouthus griseus horizontalis ‘Yankee Point’ is a specific groundcover variety that will tenaciously fill empty space in your landscape. Great for erosion control, this winter bloomer adds year-round interest with its small blue flower clusters. A main attraction for pollinators, this plant will not only tolerate drought and heat, but will help stabilize ecosystems!
Chondropetalumtectorum is a South African native reed grass which not only adds a sleek texture to your landscape but can endure almost any challenge that the Central Coast presents. This plant will take on searing heat, cold down to 20 degrees, and is one of the closest we’ve found to the ‘no maintenance’ dream. This one is bombproof and beautiful.
Kniphofia, also known as Red Hot Poker plant, is a striking option for foreground plantings, containers, and against walls. Its attractive blade-shaped leaves offer a clean texture during winter months, while the Spring and Summer blooms have a striking ombre color effect. Also native to Mediterranean South Africa, Kniphofia has an exotic look which maintains its beauty even in the blaring Summer heat.
Our California native deer grass, Muhlenbergia rigens, is a drought tolerant champion of the landscape! Attractive seed heads in the Spring give this larger grass an endearing tousled look which works in almost any setting, as a background, accent, or mass. Up to 5’ tall and wide, this grass stands out with its substantial size, and will pull through despite the hottest California summer.
Jerusalem Sage, or Phlomisfruticosa is a unique plant which offers many sought-after characteristics. This plant has the size and form of a sage, but the peach-fuzz foliage is true green in contrast to the silver of our native Sage varieties. Bright yellow flower whorls are non-toxic and stand out in the garden. Jerusalem sage is a sun-loving and solid choice for inland summers.
Salvia x ‘Allen Chickering’ is another stunning California Native which loves arid climates and sunshine. This member of the Sage family showcases characteristic gray/green leaves and attractive, fragrant flower whorls. A top performer in the landscape, Allen Chickering Sage will attract hummingbirds and butterflies while deterring deer, making it a top choice for the warm season.
Creeping thyme is a dainty groundcover which adds charm to patios, walkways, and borders. Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ exhibits a showy bloom during the Spring and Summer months, with bright pink flowers speckled against the ashy green leaves. This Mediterranean herb has a distinctive aroma and can tolerate light foot traffic on top of cramped conditions and heat!
Wherever you are in San Luis Obispo County, try out this complete palette for a bomb-proof start at Summer gardening!
Top Tips for Outdoor Spaces, from Intimate to Crowd-Pleasing
Imagine RELAXING! Finally… after a week that took few prisoners. Here on the Central Coast, we like to turn to our outdoor gathering spaces to enjoy our time and recharge our batteries. It may be at home, or it may be at a winery, restaurant or bar. So, if you’re planning to improve your hospitality business or your home, here are some tips for patio landscaping:
Form Follows Function – Your outdoor gathering space needs to be beautiful AND It needs to serve its purpose. Whether used for cooking, eating, drinking, entertainment, or warming by the firepit, make sure it works; and then make sure it feels good to be there.
It’s a Material(s) World – When considering patio hardscape design, the materials need to be appropriate to complement the space, as well as fitting your style, priorities, and budget. Materials choices also determine the cost of energy over time. Obviously, these energy costs can and should be kept as low as possible. Energy savings can be greatly affected by good Site Design, careful planning of machinery use, and wise choices of the landscape materials themselves, and their embodied energy (including manufacture, extraction, shipping and life-cycle energy costing).
So Imagine Relaxing… leaning back in a comfortable patio chair, warming next to the fire pit, feet up, a glass of wine close by, enjoying the last rays of the sunset. It’s hard to beat the feeling of enjoying your outdoor environment when it suits your needs and lifestyle.
Or….visit a winery or outdoor event that has captured the essence of what makes THAT place so special. Successful patio hardscape design can do a lot to add to your relaxation and recharging, contentment and inspiration.
If we can help, let us know: 805-466-6263. MadroneLandscapes.com