This back-bay residence reflects the regionalism throughout its landscape. The project draws on the curved shapes of the bay-line and estuary (images 01, 02, 03) that can be seen winding away from the property’s edge. These gentle sweeps were then drawn into the hardscape walls and walk-ways. The form and sheen on the concrete bench wall mirrors the still waters of the bay in the late afternoon sun. The main paving stone was selected to mimic the colors in the distant sand-spit which help to define this unique back bay setting. The fingers of water that drain into the bay are drawn into the hardscape through the use of dark Mexican pebbles that fill the joints between the flagstone. Morro Rock can also be seen abstracted in the distance by the use of large boulders anchoring the stacked-stone bench walls and fire-pit. The ipe decking is reminiscent of the interior of an old-ship, fitting within the coastal harbor theme. By incorporating these connections back to the site this landscape has a sense of belonging and gives a spirit of place or “Genius loci.”
Creating the plantings was one of the most important aspects of this garden. The native landscape of the estuary is predominated by native juncus, pickle weed, yarrow, and coyote brush which were then pulled up into the landscape to blur the line between nature and the home. Restios, dwarf coyote brush, hybrid yarrows, artemsias, and many non-native grasses were used to draw relationships with the existing natives in the estuary as well as provide year-long interest that is water wise.
The use of space invites guests to meander through curving pathways to secluded benches where they can take in the beauty of the bay or watch the grasses and native juncus dance with the wind. While the ocean air can create cooler evenings, the fire-bowls and fire-pits are strategically placed to bring warmth and encourage the use of the outdoors regardless of the time of year.
This garden is constantly evolving. The owners love adding new art and creativity.