Fairy Yardmother Landscape Design

by Kathy Oberg, Landscape Designer, Los Angeles, CA.

Thank you for visiting my site. I enjoy bringing you pictures of gardens, plants, and ideas from sunny Southern California. I love sharing after-photos that show how my landscape plans, plant lists and layouts come to life.
As a designer, I use plants to create drama, provide color and form, and compliment the architectural style of your home.
I strive to provide a buffer from sun, street, and neighbors while still fostering connections.
Inspired plant choices and site layout can make any space a success.
I am a Certified Watershed Wise Professional, with techniques to improve soil health and keep more water on your property.
I can help you makeover your patio, paths, planting areas, or entire property. I will consult with you, choose a look you love, and compose a plan and plant list to update your landscape, re-using what you already have wherever we can.
Each project is different because it is about making your space really shine.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Front Yards -- The Pony Wall

One of the most significant features of The Front Yard is the fence, wall, or hedge along the sidewalk. The style, height, and materials used for this boundary have an huge impact on the curb appeal and the feel of the property. The short wall gives the designer and homeowner the option of a clear boundary that retains some openness to the street and neighborhood. Here are some examples of short walls.

 This front yard uses a combination of short walls, to frame the entire front yard, edge the path, and serve to raise the planting areas and tame the slope from sidewalk to front door.
I think this works elegantly, but it is a bit heavy for the small space. The walls, however short, and the pathway pack a lot of hardscape into a small area. I would imagine this would be too much wall for a lot of people.

I do like the texture and thickness of the walls, and the use of straight lines with curves. The walls serve to organize the front yard, and turn a former slope into a short chain of spaces it is easy to navigate.
I think the decision to have shorter curved walls along the pathway was a good one, not only to create the planters, but also to repeat the wall in a slightly different way, so it is not only present around the perimeter.
These Salvias along the driveway are great plants for SoCal. They need little water, constantly bloom, and attract lots of hummers.

Another use of a short wall to define the perimeter and control a slope.
Notice how different the effect is when the plants do not seem to be held in by the wall. The wall and plants are completely separate here. And the wall does not continue within the planting.
This is a very clean, modern effect. I think this also works quite well, but it's certainly a more stark version of the pony wall.

In this final example, the pony wall helps create a space that is very modern, but not at all stark. I like the mixed planting, and the height and tropical feel of the Palms. I really like the placement of the gate, made possible by having one part of the perimeter wall set in toward the house, and the other set along the sidewalk. Notice the third taller wall behind the plantings, which is not overpowering, but serves to give a cohesiveness to the design. I also like the built in mailbox, and the changes in height.
I might replace the grass with Dymondia or Sedum, or even Senecio, though that would compromise the clean line of the bottom of the wall. But I really like this design the way it is.

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