BK Landscape Design
Residential Project: San Rafael
Overview: This garden project began with the demolition of an existing pool and decks cantilevered over a hillside. The garden was originally a Japanese-themed garden retreat and free-form shaped pool. While the client wanted to update and replace many elements, they sought to keep the free-form characteristics of the existing design and repurpose existing materials. BK Landscape Design created a new garden with revetment walls and steps to a succulent garden with salvaged boulders from the pool and pool coping. We built a colored concrete path to access a new wood trellis constructed on the center-line view from the master bedroom. A combination of Bay friendly, native and evergreen plantings were chosen for the planting palette. The overhaul of the yard included low-voltage lighting and minimal drainage. A new wood deck replaced the existing one at the entrance as well as a deck off of the master bedroom that was also constructed from repurposed materials. The style mimics the architectural detail of the mansard roof and simple horizontal wood siding of the house. After removing a juniper (as required by the San Rafael Fire Department within the Wildland-Urban interface) we designed and developed a full front-yard planting plan. All plants are Bay-Friendly, native, and irrigated with a more efficient in-line drip irrigation system to minimize water use. Low-voltage lighting and minimal drainage were also part of the overhaul of the front yard redesign.
Design constraints: There were many features to design around that enhanced the challenge of the project, namely the hillside in the back yard, the hard soils of the front yard, and the interface between the new garden and the existing garden in relation to the open space around the property.
Planting design: There are many seasonal colors in all areas of the gardens. Included in the planting palette throughout the gardens are Salvias, Pink Muhly grass, Teucrium, Chondropetalum , Japanese maples, and Arbutus. Many of these plants bring numerous species of birds, including hummingbirds, to the garden.