Secret Garden

Updated Mar 1, 2013

Making the unusable unforgettable

Because of a steep slope rendering this backyard almost inaccessible, Patricia St. John, APLD, St. John Landscapes, designed three retaining walls 2 to 3 feet high to terrace the landscape. She used Napa Basalt dry stack walls, which allow water to flow through to prevent pressure, and Connecticut Blue Full Range paver steps through the garden.

The path leads to a terrace with raised beds containing a vegetable garden and benches for the clients to relax and look out on the San Francisco Bay. The deck, benches and storage boxes are made from Trex (woodland brown), which is produced from recycled plastic and wood fiber.

To achieve a wide range of foliage colors, texture and cultural compatibility, St. John used plants such as Loropetalum chinense ‘Burgundy’ʼ(Purple Leaf Chinese Fringe Flower), Coleonema pulchellum ‘Sunset Gold’ʼ(Golden Breath of Heaven), Lavandula ‘Provence,’ Arctostaphylos ‘John Dourley’ʼ(Manzanita), Cistus ‘Sunset’ʼ (Rockrose), Luma apiculata, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Tuscan Blue’ʼand the wonderful groundcover Rubus pentalobus (Groundcover Bramble). She also placed fruit trees already owned by the clients in the garden.

To create a screen and distraction from the neighboring backyard, her crew installed birdhouses and butterfly houses on 12-foot lodge poles with fast-growing shrubs in between.

To have your project featured, send high-resolution photos, a description of the project and the name of your business to [email protected].

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover