Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Fairy Garden

This garden is very unusual in that the owners and I decided that unless the garden was built before the house was completed it could never have been realized . We selected and placed huge mature specimen trees, using a 120 ton crane and the biggest excavator that I have ever seen, plus a crew 14 men. We then created stone walls both real and fake to contain the tree roots and hillside. The shotcrete walls were carved in real time and shaped and textured to look like stone cliffs. We created a waterfall and walkways with bridges supported by fallen trees( Which are really made of steel and concrete made to look like fallen trees). The rails are all made of reclaimed twigs and branches using our special technique to assemble and preserve them. The Oak tree in the foreground is really a crutch supporting the Live Oak behind it. See if you can tell the difference. All of the steps and pathway were constructed of recycled wood found on the hillside. The property had been in the family for over 60 years. There were fence posts which we recycled from the original fence and tree roots from that era that were placed in the shotcrete while we were shooting the wall. They were made to look like the roots were growing through the fissures in the rock cliff. After our shotcrete was finished the house construction began. The owner fell in love with some very small Fairy's and invited them to live under one of the new oaks. We built a little castle for them to live in and so far they have been good neighbors.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We won 5 CLCA Awards!

Last Saturday 6/20/09 at the Petersen Automotive Museum we were awarded 5 CLCA beautification awards from the San Fernando Chapter. The Blumenthal Residence at 1430 Sunset Plaza received 3 Awards.
We won for:

1st place for Residential Estates

Outstanding Achievement in Water Features

1st place for Night Lighting (over 50 fixtures)

We also won for my other project "The Fairy Garden"

The Fairy Garden 1st place for Large Residential Renovation

Special Awards

The Fairy Garden: Special effects awards

It was a great night and a terrific event. It was especially gratifying because we were competing against members from San Fernando, L A, San Gabriel, and Channel islands chapters. I am proud of my crew who really did it all ! A special thanks to the owners Brad Blumenthal and The Smiths who made it all possible. Now we have to have a Big BBQ to celebrate!

Check out This post in Garden Design Magazine editor Sarah Kinbar's blog

Jonny Appleseed Video

This Video was created by a very talented film making student Annemarie Rouleau from Woodbury university. Her professor Dorinda Angelucci produced this and put the two of us together, which I am very grateful for. It features live footage of the house at 1430 Sunset Plaza, the Blumenthal residence in its final days of construction . Still pictures of previous projects are intercut to demonsrate some of my work.  We were very fortunate to win 3 awards for the Blumenthal project at the CLCA Beautification awards at the Petersen Automotive museum on Saturday June 20th. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A look back at a memorable project

The Tobias Garden

This garden was a joy to build for my wonderful client Helen Tobias. The Ginko trees installation day was one that I will always remember because Helene and her friends set up a table with a luncheon including wine and cheese while we moved the huge boxed trees into position with a 60 ton crane! This project was designed by Laura Saltzman and featured extensive use of reclaimed materials including broken concrete, and used bricks. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Tanner House - Zen Garden

Calm Zen Garden Completed...

 This Garden sits in the front yard surrounded by hedges where a lawn and Roses usually are. Beautiful Koi swim beneath your feet as you stand on an ironwood deck.  It is a relaxing space that takes you away from the city.

Pliler Residence

The Pliler Residence was a very challenging site in that the pool was cut into steep drop off. The pool has a unique feature in that the jacuzzi is raised above the deck and the water falls down the Glass tile mosiac off of its zero edge treatment.

Drought Tolerant garden

This garden was made up of entirely drought tolerant species. It is a natural compliment to the hillside behind and surrounding this property which has stand of cactus that are over 100 years old, planted by the original owners of the parcel in 1906.

The Lance Armstrong Residence

 Austin Texas just after completion and before win #7 for Lance
Motor Court and Cypress walk