Backyard Renovation

My day job as a landscape architect has come home with me for an intense back yard renovation.  As we move through renovating the house this has been a constant thorn in our side.  After a long day of making furniture who wants to sit in a garden that looks like it belongs at Castle Greyskull?

You can see our sweet fall down fence that was so termite infested that we would get woodpeckers pulling bugs out of it.  Add in the incredible amount of concrete and terribly overgrown Birds of Paradise... Time for an update!

So I set about removing the two Birds and dropped the old and nasty fence.  Better already.

Next up, we have to do something about all of this concrete.  Water is precious here and I wanted to decrease our impervious area.  I had the slab saw cut and most of it removed.  The good news is 100% of the concrete went to a recycling facility to be made into more concrete.

I moved the goofy half moon step and added a small wall to keep the grade at the original level.  This is important because the view to the west (opposite the camera direction) is of the ocean.  The photo below is from the day the concrete was poured, the gas fire pit is an integral color charcoal with matte finish.

Trees.  My favorite part.  The boxed tree in the foreground is a Madrone (Arbutus 'Marina) and the tree behind it is a Cork Oak (Quercus suber).  Cork oak are a pretty special tree.  They are the only source of natural cork.  Harvesting it causes no harm to the tree when it is peeled off from the trunk, making it a sustainable product.  There is one more tree behind what looks like a giant cactus but is actually a Candelabra euphorbia.  The tree in the way back is a Tipuana Tipu, a large fast growing tree that will give great afternoon shade.

Cork Oak bark.

Beyond the fire pit area I have installed decomposed granite which will be the base for an artificial turf panel.  The fire pit will get another layer of the decomposed granite, but in a nicer golden color.

Its been a busy couple of weeks in the yard and it feels great to sit by the fire in the evenings.  After I finish up the landscape side of things it will be time for some custom patio furniture.  Thanks for looking.