On the Boards: North County Rustic Modern

On the Boards: North County Rustic Modern

A redesign in Paso Robles at 10,600 SF, this North County backyard landscape creates a rustic modern outdoor sanctuary—befit for its owners and the home it surrounds.

This project redesigns the entire backyard, re-envisioning every space to include custom features like a live wall, firepit, and a new outdoor kitchen and dining area. It blends historic elements and flora native to the California Central Coast with these new modern features to create a comfortable, aesthetic balance.

The design includes points of interest and focal features such as a dry creek, raised garden beds, horizontal fencing, and landscape lighting. Stately oak trees create a canopy with moonlighting over the activity areas.

With all the custom elements in this project, there have been many details and revisions to keep up with. Communication between the install crew and the design team has been increasingly important with each adjustment.

From the design-build teamwork to the inspired design, this North County landscape is a wonderful example of creating an outdoor sanctuary with varied gathering spaces that are both functional and aesthetically beautiful.


On the Boards: Japanese Zen Garden with California Natives

On the Boards: Japanese Zen Garden with California Natives

Artistic Design

The Millward Residence homeowners have an artistic eye for details. Madrone designers worked very closely with them to ensure the design captured their intentions. The West Atascadero project blends a minimalist Japanese Zen Garden style with California native plants to provide a tranquil setting. A beautiful stone walkway with stone slab bridges provides a pathway to the front entry.

Challenging Installation

The project site is on a steep hillside, which meant limited access for trucks and heavy equipment. Because the project was installed during the winter months, rain and mud added to the challenge of the jobsite. Madrone’s installation crew worked through the site logically, starting with the hardest-to-access areas and heaviest grading, then working our way out. Timing was critical: We finished the grading before the rain came, so we were able to focus on flagstone path work during the wet weather. We used mid-sized trucks and tractors to bring in the materials in small loads, getting as close to the work as possible.

True Work of Art

We made many site adjustments to ensure the project achieved the goals of the owners. Due to the very collaborative design and installation, the finished landscape is a true work of art that the owner can really appreciate at a deeper level.

On the Boards: Goodwin Ranch House

On the Boards: Goodwin Ranch House

Historic Farmhouse Restoration

Madrone is collaborating with San Luis Sustainability Group to help restore this historic Goodwin Ranch House through the Carrizo Plain Conservancy.

Remote and Dry Location

Our pro bono design includes decks, a stage, open rustic patios and ADA-compliant ramps to facilitate entertainment and events. Because the site is in a remote and dry location, water resources are limited. Our designers looked at what was surviving on the Carrizo Plain site and utilized those same drought-tolerant native plants, which can be watered for establishment and then survive on their own. In addition, we designed a composting toilet to be used for events, which will further reduce water use.

Community Gathering Place

The restored farmhouse will host educational events. Visitors will enjoy the unique beauty of the Carrizo Plains, the re-established Goodwin Ranch House, and the native landscaping.