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  • 2018 Garden Descriptions

Contemporary Chic

Enter this home through contemporary courtyard that was previously dwarfed by two enormous Canary Island Palms. The landscape, brilliantly designed by Suzanna Pagan, includes poured in place concrete steppers with a shot blast finish and garden walls that create space and retain a steep hillside in rear. The rear yard originally had a diagonal retaining wall that did not allow enough space for outdoor living. By constructing a new retaining wall Pagan was able to create dynamic spaces including an outdoor kitchen, bar, dining area, fireplace, and cozy living room, and play area for the four children, all adorned with the sleek lines of Anigozanthos, Aloe, Carex Cordyline and succulent wall gardens.


The Art of the Succulent  

This charming garden is home to a variety of succulents housed in and among an eclectic collection of found art and stone sculptures.   A large Canary Island palm welcomes visitors to the front garden, where they can enjoy a fence decorated with striking panels and admire the metallic hangings cascading down the doors to the Mediterranean style patio.  The back garden contains more succulents and a variety of artwork, including a tiered fountain crowned with a gently curving sculpted figure and a euphorbia housed in an old dressmaker’s form.  The owner’s eye for art is everywhere, and she has used it to show off her succulents to their best advantage, enhancing their color and form.


Asian Inspiration

The owners of this property have managed to achieve an Asian garden theme using largely water wise plants from Mediterranean climates.  The entry is a stunning space in which a variety of New Zealand flax and Bird of Paradise border a stone pathway that sets the Asian motif.  Entering the side yard by a wooden boardwalk, visitors fall under the spell of an approximately 30-year-old Japanese maple set off by vertical melaleuca and under-planted with juniper.  The rear garden is a series of decks strategically placed to borrow the view of a large eucalyptus and native grasses growing in the open space behind the home.


Encinitas Estate 

This large home sits atop a hillside with views to the canyons beyond.  With a large rose garden, two reflecting pools, a gazebo, and well planted hillsides, there is much to be seen.  Although carefully landscaped, the garden has an informal almost park-like feel.  There are large stretches of lawn, numerous side paths to stroll and enjoy, and an overall feeling of calm and comfort.  Visitors will appreciate the patio, with its large, unique, fireplace and can stroll down the curving hillside path, if they wish, to sit and admire the view from one of the stone patios below the lawn.  The garden was enhanced by the previous owner and the new occupants are in the process of extending and refurbishing the house and the gardens.


Captivating Colonial 

A large expanse of lawn, lined by carefully-shaped ficus trees, brings visitors to the door of this colonial- style home in the hills of Encinitas.  The front entrance is flanked by camellias and azaleas, setting off the traditional colonial white columns and red brick architecture.  The wide gravel path leading to the rear is lined with sculpted pittosporum and other shrubs, evoking the formal gardens of France.  Roses, palms, potted succulent displays and bougainvillea decorate the rear garden which was clearly designed for California living with its large pool, partially covered patio, and an outdoor barbecue perfect for entertaining. 



Down the Garden Path  

This garden truly celebrates the Mediterranean plant palate.  Curving paths, bordered by native rocks, take visitors around and through the sloping hillside.  Along the paths the owners have planted a wide variety of plants particularly suitable to our dry environment: rosemary, grevillea, yarrow, echium, albizia, and leucadendrons interspersed with citrus and figs.  The garden is actually many gardens in one; the property contains a raised vegetable garden, a lawn, a meadow, as well as a succulent garden designed by Nan Sterman.  With so much to see, visitors will probably want to walk this property twice before leaving on the beautifully designed rear walkway hedged with Mediterranean plants.



Craftsman Creation 

This 2-acre rustic and informal garden is the home of a local craftsman. The garden, surrounding his home and studio, features 30-year-old succulents, fantastical garden art, water features, a chicken coop many people would be happy to call home, and a unique collection of mature plants, all suited to San Diego’s summer dry climate Plants include palms, Agave, and Dasylirion and cacti. It also features unique stonework and a custom gate like no other. Stroll the garden and meander through a working tile studio complete with a walk-in kiln and racks of tiles and garden art for sale. 



Palm Paradise

Palm aficionados will love this tropical garden. The original owners of this garden planted a wide variety of exotic palms. The current owners played off the tropical theme, adding succulents and colorful plant accents from bromeliads to ti plants, phormiums and aeoniums. Enter this garden via the walkway off the driveway through a veritable jungle. Stepping into the front entry, the back walls of the home open to a huge covered patio with an outdoor living room flanked by a stream that rushes down the hillside. The entire hill is planted with palms and lush bold-leaved plantings. Climb the stairs on the side yard to an upper level pool complete with totem poles and more tropical plantings. Here you will also find a guest house with its own private terrace.


Our Mission To inspire and educate the people of San Diego County to grow and enjoy plants, and to create beautiful, environmentally responsible gardens and landscapes.

Our Vision To champion regionally appropriate horticulture in San Diego County.


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