This West Santa Rosa garden, about a mile or two west of downtown Santa Rosa, was located in a small country style subdivision of about a dozen or so homes. The homeowners, who had a completely blank slate in the backyard, and a plain wall-to-wall grass front yard with very little interest, contacted us to design and build heir back yard landscape initially.

The property was flat and very large, a country property with lots of gophers, which extended back from the home about 600 feet. To ‘shrink’ the area to be landscaped, a beautiful redwood fence, gate and arbor were constructed from side to side, dividing the elongated property in half.

Reducing the size of the landscape not only helps to manage the budget, but also lends a feeling of intimacy to an otherwise expansive flat property.

Along the east side property line we built a six-foot, three- railed fence with a 2×6 redwood cap. The owner subsequently stained the fence a dark brown color.

We designed and built a stamped concrete patio, which consisted of two intersecting circles; the larger circle to accommodate an outdoor dining table with an umbrella and four chairs. The smaller of the circles was for a fire pit surrounded by four Adirondack chairs.

Behind this fire pit area adjacent to the patio we built an eighteen-inch high seat wall, which was constructed of a poured concrete base, and faced on both front and back with cultured stone. Capped with flagstone, this wall provides additional seating for entertaining.

There was an existing deck adjacent to the residence, and we installed a lawn area that met the lower patio. To transition between the deck and the lawn we added a section of flagstone steppingstones.

Various planting areas were created to the sides and behind the patio, lawn and flagstone elements. Planting appropriate to a West Santa Rosa garden were chosen, including two large Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’ to shade the patio and seat wall from the hot afternoon sun. The rest of the plant material included white roses, westringia, viburnum ‘Spring Bouquet, and various ornamental grasses in a beautiful planting scheme that mixed heights, textures and bloom seasons.

A few years later the homeowners called us to landscape their front yard. They were please with how the back yard turned out, and wanted a similar feel in the front.

The wall-to-wall grass had to go, so we sprayed and removed the old lawn. The existing plain concrete walkway led from the front entry parallel to the house over to the driveway. They wanted access to the front door from the street since people parked there regularly and had to walk around and up the driveway. So we built a stamped concrete walkway that curved from the entry around to the driveway and branched off this curve down to the street.

The existing east side fence was deteriorating, so we were asked to construct the same style six-foot, three-railed capped fence we had built in the back. The rest of the front yard was planted with a tapestry of low maintenance plantings and ornamental grasses. A western redbud ‘Forest Pansy’ was the feature tree in this small front yard, and the trees and walkways were lit with low voltage lighting for evening accent. A brown bark was added as a finishing touch for this West Santa Rosa garden.