While we are certainly better known for our award-winning residential designs, we are often asked to help design commercial and industrial landscapes as well. We are currently in design on this Paso Robles commercial site, in collaboration with our good friend and architect, Nick Gilman. The client’s primary goals for the project are to establish a low-maintenance, low water-use landscape that will complement the industrial aesthetic of the building’s architecture and provide some much-needed summer shade for the established parking areas.
We know from experience that commercial landscapes are not usually meant to be showy, and that they often find themselves neglected over time. As with any commercial design project, we started this project by establishing a bulletproof plant palette of long-lived trees, foundation shrubs, and groundcovers. Plant selections for commercial landscapes should always be sized appropriately to the planter area they will inhabit, taking into consideration the mature size of the species, thereby reducing maintenance requirements, and ensuring that even a neglected landscape will still look relatively well kept.
Tree selection can be especially important in commercial landscaping. Mature trees provide shade, seasonal interest, and scale to an otherwise nondescript site. This site will feature the consistent evergreen appeal of the seldom-used Holly Oak, alongside the deciduous Chinese Pistache and Raywood Ash trees. In fall, the deciduous trees will surely be the star of the show with their varying leaf color. In addition to the traditional landscape plans for this site, we have also developed a realistic 3-D model of the mature landscape, allowing the architect and owner to confidently ‘see into the future’ and appraise their tree and plant selections.
Altogether, this landscape is set to be colorful, dynamic, water-wise, and most importantly, easy to maintain. We’re excited to see this project break ground and come to life over the next year or so. If we can help you with an upcoming commercial landscape project, please be sure to reach out – [email protected] or give us a call at (805) 466-6263.
Designed to succeed in the Atascadero climate, this Mediterranean-style oasis provides ample space for play, multi-functional entertainment features, and the tropical airs of the lush plant selections. The 7,000-SF design-build project is shaping up to be an inviting retreat for family and friends.
Its multi-purpose entertainment spaces include a pool, fire feature, outdoor kitchen, and reduced-footprint lawn that transitions to a patio. The custom kiva fireplace wall is built to warm colder nights and cozy up the recessed seating area just past the pool and mountable movie projector screen. The outdoor kitchen and bar seating make for picture-perfect socializing and party hosting.
Chock-full of fun elements and smooth transitions, this thoughtful and cohesive landscape is sure to be a delightful retreat for both family and guests.
Want more information on our landscape design services? Contact our landscape designers at [email protected] or (805) 466-6263.
Set it, forget it. Give plants the nutrients without all the hassle.
We’re all familiar with irrigation. It’s been a means of maintaining landscapes and growing crops for thousands of years. Applying controlled amounts of water helps supplement natural rainfall and contribute to soil moisture from groundwater.
Fertigation combines fertilization and irrigation, serving as a nutrient delivery system for landscapes. It can be used via drip irrigation, spray nozzles, and heads.
Madrone Operations Manager Erik Gorham has provided fertigation services for almost a decade. He uses the EZ-FLO products to treat a wide variety of landscape issues. To start the process, our trained Madrone team first installs a dispensing system in the valve box connected to the main line of a pre-existing sprinkler system. The unit then feeds both drip and sprinkler zones by micro-dosing the landscape with every irrigation. “You really can forget about it, because part of our landscape maintenance program includes filling the unit with fertilizer every four to six weeks,” Erik shares.
We use Red Frog Compost Teas as part of our organic fertilizer program. The compost tea improves soil and plant health by improving nutrient availability and retention in the soil. “Biology feeds the plant,” explains Erik. “Typically, what plants need is in the soil. But if your soil is depleted, the worm castings offer an excellent soil amendment that is safe around children and pets.”
Savings on labor and energy costs can quickly offset the initial investment in a fertigation system. A homeowner who lives in an area affected by drought or water restrictions may prefer fertigation because they can better manage the nutrients and water supply going to multiple parts of the growing area as well as increase water efficiency. It also gives them the ability to add nutrients directly into the root zone that may be otherwise difficult to access.
Erik sees it as an affordable investment to every landscape. “You chose your plants carefully. Help them mature more quickly and stay healthy by using this easy fertilizer system all year round.”
Learn more about our maintenance services. For more details, contact us at [email protected] or (805) 466-6263.
by Jules Welch
It’s easy to be overwhelmed when looking at an empty plot of land or a back yard in disrepair. Luckily for homeowners, HOA’s, and commercial property owners, landscape designers see your space as a blank canvas—a unique opportunity to meld function with artistic expression. Design style plays a huge part in every built environment, and often incorporates a colorful mix of the owner’s personality, designer’s aesthetic, and greater climatic and cultural context. Some design styles that are popular for our coastal California area include:
-Mediterranean and Spanish
There is a lot of overlap when it comes to style, but
certain core characteristics define each aesthetic. Read more about these
traits to find out what speaks to you:
Colloquially described as “modern” design, contemporary landscapes are influenced by mid-century modern art and architecture but are defined by their cutting-edge qualities for the present day (which, technically, could be any style). However, when someone refers to a contemporary landscape, they are likely describing a geometric style which features minimalism, clean lines, and grid layouts. Contemporary design is often used in commercial projects such as campuses, plazas, and office buildings; it may also be used to complement custom homes. These landscapes generally favor green foliage over colorful flowers, with intentional spacing and simple hardscapes like concrete or pea gravel.
Gain Inspiration: Andrea
Cochran is a renowned Bay Area designer known for her spacious designs with
an emphasis on form.
English Cottage Gardens came into their own during the
industrial revolution, when families fled city life for remote holiday cottages
in the country. This mix of ideologies brought a unique design sense which mixes
the formal with the chaotic. English cottage gardens can be identified by their
overgrown, lush look, usually incorporating lawn and border plantings among
tightly-grouped flowering perennials.
Gain Inspiration: Gertrude
Jekyll (1843-1932) was known for her craftsman inspired cottage gardens,
using color “rooms” to achieve dynamic and natural mass plantings.
Xeriscape is a style of landscape design which requires minimal
irrigation and maintenance, focusing on efficient use of water. Often using native
and native-adjacent plants, these water-wise gardens tend to evoke an arid,
desert feel. Gravel, cactus, and decomposed granite are the keystone elements
of a xeriscape. Designers also incorporate sustainable water-harvesting
elements such as planted swales and rain gardens into their xeriscapes. Native
California gardens can still look lush, colorful, and attractive, while still
retaining their drought-tolerant, low maintenance qualities.
Spanish Colonial Revival:
Most coastal regions in California have a Mediterranean climate, meaning that numerous plant species from Southern France, Italy, and Spain thrive here! Mediterranean design styles bring lavender, olive trees, and Italian cypress into California’s landscape. It is also the origin of our incredible wine culture. Often using plaza-style patios, pavers, vines, and potted plants, Mediterranean design makes the most of sun/shade, views, and crops. Sometimes used to describe Spanish Colonial Revival style, these gardens often incorporate stucco walls, tile, and cooling water features. Symmetry and striking, sculptural plants with colorful foliage often come into play.
What’s your Design
Design style can be subtle or overt, but it is responsible
for the feeling we get in an outdoor environment, whether familiar or obscure,
nostalgic or innovative, cozy or vast. Most importantly, though, it’s what
makes home feel like home.