Imagine a backyard oasis that’s a pleasure to look at and enjoy. A beautiful garden feeds all of the senses, offering a visual feast, gentle fragrances, and the sound of the birds and running water. Scott Bradley of Details Landscape Art in Petaluma creates one-of-a-kind gardens, each a work of art.

simple garden design

Scott founded Details Landscape Art in 1991, following a 23-year career as a CPA. “I was a serious suit-and-tie man, but the suit was empty,” he says. “My body was in it, but my soul was in the garden.” Taking advantage of a layoff, he turned his hobby into a business. Now his passion for the art of landscaping brings stunning results to residential remodeling projects and garden installations for new homes.

The key is the design. Scott reviews the shape and size of the yard, listens to the needs and wishes of the homeowner, and creates a unique landscape. The new garden may include unusual patio and walkway shapes in a variety of surfaces, elegant arbors and trellises, water features, and a handpicked selection of plants and trees of different heights, textures, and bloom seasons. Low-voltage ligting for added evening drama is always a nice touch. “The design process allows us to take risks and make mistakes on paper, then rework it until we get it right,” he explains. “Landscaping is expensive, so we try to make no mistakes.”

Choosing a landscape contractor isn’t like hiring a plumber or electrician, where you get three bids and pick the least expensive one, Scott says. The artistic element and level of personal interest in the ultimate look are very important. “You should look for someone who really understands what you want to achieve, and who will give you personal service.”
Scott is a great proponent of low-maintenance landscapes, but points out that low maintenance doesn’t mean uninteresting. His favorite design styles incorporate plants with colorful foliage, such as Japanese maples, smaller lawns, natural wood and rock elements, and annuals and perennials as accents. For gardens requiring a patio installation, he often selects a multicolored flagstone as a feature element and then adds subtle tones through plantings. A muted gray stone, or a white or natural wood finish works better with colorful trees and bright flowers.

Details Landscape Art offers more than just creativity. Practical considerations such as irrigation and drainage systems are also essential elements of a successful garden. Scott works with clients to address specific issues, such as privacy from neighbors, the need for shade in a hot spot, or the installation of a children’s play area.

“We are able to devote a great deal of personal attention and time to each client by remaining small, installing only 15 to 20 custom landscapes each year,” Scott says. “I am involved in every step of the process, from initial layout to material selection and plant placement, and work with a trusted and highly trained crew to bring the design to life.” The objective is the creation of a truly beautiful garden that will provide enjoyment for years to come.