Design | Satori Garden Design - Part 4
-1
archive,paged,category,category-design,category-7,paged-4,category-paged-4,stockholm-core-2.3,select-theme-ver-8.9,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_menu_,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.9.0,vc_responsive

Those Amazing Aloes

Aloe plicatils in bloom
Aloe plicatils in bloom

I’m always on the look out for a beautiful, tough, structural “living sculpture” for the garden and I think Aloe have it all.  This Aloe spans out from it’s thick base and over the years adds arm by arm of reaching fans.  It’s coral blooms last forever and it’s super slow growing nature make it an excellent container succulent.  It’s really nice that there are no spines to worry about – so planting near a walkway or by a pool is no problem.  Imagine this Aloe lit in a way to show it’s silhouette against a wall.  To see more Aloes than you ever thought existed visit the Los Angeles Arboretum.  The LA Arboretum has over 1/4 of the worlds species of Aloes.  Aloes are tough and beautiful.  Look how great this Aloe functions as both a lovely front yard focal point and a prickly security barrier near the window and house.  Aloes in bloom are a sight to behold ūüôā

Body Guard by Aloe
Body Guard by Aloe

Enhancing Through Illumination


images courtesy of moyer design

images courtesy of moyer design

a landscape structure becomes even more beautiful with the right lighting

a landscape structure becomes even more beautiful with the right lighting

Now that I finally have the “bandwidth” to tackle my outdoor landscape lighting I’m noticing how the right lighting actually makes an outdoor space more attractive. ¬†It’s sort of like when you go to a beautiful restaurant and they have expertly thought of just the right lighting to make each diner look their best. ¬†The lighting is soft, it gently washes over the surfaces and it doesn’t stare you in the eye. ¬†The right lighting brings out your best features and lets the not so great ones stay in the dark. ¬†Landscape lighting is exactly like this!

In the mild climate I live in, most everyone entertains outside. ¬†If your landscape is shrouded in darkness you are missing out on showing off it’s beauty and your investment. ¬†If your landscape is poorly lighted you may be sending glaring light into your guests eyes or asking them to walk through your landscape in uncomfortable darkness.

Take note of your lighting: ¬†Do you see the light sources? ¬†If so, you probably have considerable glare and “hot spots” ¬†Are your pathways and stairs adequately lit? ¬†It doesn’t need to be bright, just a low even lighting in primary traffic areas is great. ¬†Are you sending a lot of light up into the sky or into your neighbors property? ¬†Many cities now have “dark sky” ordinances that cut down on light pollution. ¬†Are you taking advantage of down lighting from structures and trees? ¬†Down lighting can be an excellent, non-intrusive way to light the landscape and create ambiance. Crazyspieler

Are You Washing the Sidewalk?

The Sidewalk Gets a Drink in Sunny Santa Monica

The Sidewalk Gets a Drink in Sunny Santa Monica

I walk A LOT in my neighborhood and sadly I can say this scene here is all too familiar. ¬†Even with our water crisis (and yes, even though it’s been a wet winter, we still need to conserve) people waste soooo much water in their landscape. ¬†In this situation they have a spray head spraying right into a broadleaf tropical plant and bouncing all over, resulting in giant puddles on the sidewalk. ¬† This is an issue of poor irrigation design! ¬†Of course the water is bouncing all over the place. ¬† The real ridiculous thing is the solution is so simple and certainly not something out of reach for this high-end neighborhood. ¬†Drip tubing running along the edges of this border would give these plants exactly the water they need without wasting a drop. ¬†This would also alleviate the problem of spray heads getting tweeked and spraying in errant directions. ¬†Take a walk around your neighborhood and your yard. ¬†You’ll surely see places that don’t need to be soaked, sprayed and inundated the way they are. ¬†All it takes is a few minutes and an awareness to save a lot of water.

An adventure in Permaculture

an illustration on permaculture (from Chico Permaculture Guild)
an illustration on permaculture (from Chico Permaculture Guild)

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to learn new things.  I am the perennial student studying not only perennials but arboriculture, irrigation design and now I’m adding Permaculture.  I’ve been dipping my toe in this subject for some time and now I’ve finally dived into an intensive certification course at the LA Arboretum.  Permaculture is essentially the use of sustainable design principles in the creation of human habitats.  The design process takes it’s cues from the natural world were systems are self-sustaining and abundant.  This illustration shows elements of Permaculture:  food production, water reclamation and diversion, harnessing of the sun’s energy and the thoughtful placement of crops based on micro climates.  There’s actually a lot going on under the soil too! 

I think what I’m most excited about is the amazing sense of community in this movement.  In fact, you cannot practice Permaculture alone – it requires you to tap into the community.  At my first 8 hour class, I found myself surrounded by people who want to make a difference in our world of global warming, mass food production and lack of exposure to nature and it’s abundance.  I really don’t know where this will lead me but I’m just so thrilled to be on this path because I know it’s a positive one.  I’ll keep you posted ūüôā

Perrrrr-fect container plant

Cotyledon orbiculata
Cotyledon orbiculata

There are few plants better suited for a spectacular, long lasting, ever tidy-looking container planting than Cotyledon orbiculata.¬† This beauty is from South Africa and as with most succulents best suited for mild climates.¬† C. orbiculata will form a tidy mound of fat opposing leaves.¬† Ultimately the plant will get about 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, softly drooping over it’s container.¬† The long lasting summer flowers will float above it in a coral and yellow display.¬† So pretty!