Digging your Landscape


This weekend I spent 5 hours hand cutting grass with a pair of kitchen scissors in my pajamas. I really didn’t know what I was getting into but it was looking so good, I kept going. It allowed me to spend a lot of time in my garden and to really get to know it. It’s a new garden designed by Jeff Lindfors at LPO inc and we are in the initial encouragement/nurture phase as these new plants fall into their first dormancy on the property.

We bought a major fixer in Topanga Canyon and after the remodel Jeff was in charge of landscape design and site restoration. We have done a number of projects together so we left it up to him with complete trust.  It has been a big ongoing job but it’s all coming in beautifully. He has taught us to see a garden as an ongoing painting that continuously evolves and that we need to be the primary participant in the painting… so there I was with the scissors. Anyone who knows me knows I take direction with zeal and to a fault.

I am realizing the importance of mixing plant shapes, leaf size, texture, and color with contrasting (or not) pieces to create a balance in the landscape. Harmonious balance of shapes and space in architecture would be the equivalent I suppose but landscape is so much cooler because it’s a living thing that’s constantly changing. How amazing is that? And it thrives on love and attention.

It’s a good idea to start thinking about the landscape and hardscape (pathways, driveway, pool, trellises, fencing etc.) in the beginning of the project, not the end. Ask your landscape designer to work hand in hand with your architect to develop a master plan for the site so that land and building can harmonize.  Building size, shape, orientation and land topography will inform size, color, and texture of your new garden and outdoor entertainment areas. A major benefit when including landscape/hardscape early on is that you can get an idea what the ‘complete’ project will cost. Don’t let your landscape budget be ‘whatever is left over at the end’….cause that ain’t never gonna happen. You need to plan ahead.

A full architectural survey will be needed for both the architect and landscape designer. A good survey is worth its’ weight in gold and they are not all the same so have your architect help in choosing a good team.

All of the money, planning, mud and dust, delivery trucks, and people will be well worth it in the end.

Have a great day ya’ll-