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.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Backyard Makeover on a Budget

New Planting

Here are some pictures of a recent project I completed on a tight budget. Plants and trees look small now, and you'll notice there is quite a bit of space between them. Forgoing the use of annuals to fill in, the clients decided they were happy to use smaller plants and wait until these relatively fast-growers fill in. And fill in they will. In person, the garden looks cheerful, fresh and clean.


The plants may look small now, but many like the Lavender and Miscanthus will double or triple in size within the year! Perhaps even by Summer! Starting with small plants saves money and often gives the plants a better start by allowing them to get established in their new home instead of in the container.

I really enjoyed this project because the clients were wonderful to work with, and I was able to use some of my favorite plants including Manzanita, Tagetes, Euphorbia, and Penstemon.

Goals included:
Installing a lawn area for kids.
Surrounding that lawn with perennials and trees to soften a small space defined by large walls.
Improving the sprinkler system, in part by installing separate valves for lawn and planting areas.
Creating a lovely view for the clients while enjoying their covered patio.


Immature After

We chose Geijera, Australian Willows, to help soften the twenty-foot-tall wall of the neighbor's garage, which defined the space. I also asked the clients to paint the wall the same color as their house.
The Willows fit nicely into a modern aesthetic, can be planted near structures, and have soft, weeping foliage. We surrounded them with drought-tolerant plants that give color and will provide lots of foliage.


That stick along the far wall is Cercis Forest Pansy

In the shady area down slope, toward the driveway, we planted thirstier plants around an existing Camellia. The Loropetalum, Heuchera, and Sword Ferns should get extra water from the lawn when we begin watering the planting beds as little as once a week once plants are established.


Much of the water from rain and sprinklers is directed down toward the driveway. We placed Mexican River Pebbles in a shallow trench at the edge of the patio to solve the problem of mud flowing down the driveway during hard rains. First rain, so good!

Detail of Shade Planting

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