Goodbye Pittosporum 2019:We’ve Got Pretty Poolside Privacy Screen

Front yards are often for curb appeal, not solely for the home owners. Over the years clients front landscape has some especially showy months and regular visitors enjoy the seasonal changes. It is when the magic of Mother Nature’s time, perennial established plants each hand selected or annual color tucked in show full glory in what I nicknamed ‘painting with flowers.’

In 2018 Cindy determined how their family, friends and neighbors over the many years have frequently benefited visually as well verbally. Often all expressing their delight while arriving and pausing to admire their front landscape or just while walking by. She added her awareness of others experiences compared with her own actual individual time spent in front yard considerably less just coming in and out, day in and day out as busy schedules dictate. 

Season by season have appealed for year round beauty.  A large selection of unique, unusual and interesting as well colorful annual flowers added seasonally.

Neighbors also share the fun anticipation of enjoying the tulips and lilacs showing off in glorious bloom early springtime year after year!

This longtime Los Altos, CA clients poolside privacy screen began in January 2019. Determining the out dated, lacking any seasonal interest with the established dense Pittosporum hedge. Hedge had been planted long before they purchased their home over 10 years ago. Demolition and construction of creating a new backyard oasis.  yYear round privacy, seasonal and perennial plants strategically planning a privacy screen with plants and trees to block the two-story houses behind. Attention to window views from inside vistas, frequent parties for friends and family, regular routine during summer months while dining al fresco poolside.  

Across the poolside is the Custom height Arbor for privacy and Springtime Wow! Growing a Wisteria ‘Black Dragon’ Vine, and Ernest Markham Clematis. and surrounding areas for part sun and full sun with year round plantings hand selected over the past 12 months.   

One of the most rewarding aspects to this project is most of Cindy’s visitors, including her own mother, have stated how beautiful the backyard looks — Adding the backyard looks different, but they can’t put their finger on what has changed!  We have definitely had a good laugh! 
It is gratifying to my design concept to create spaces that look like they have always been like this! 
Some of the Perennials planted:
Tulips, Freesia, Several Variety of Iris, Buddleja, Gomphrena ‘Ping Pong Globe’, Brugmansia, Tiger Lily and Espalier Apples with 8 varieties 

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Lawn Goodbye 2019: We’ve Got Palms! Frequent Visitors & Low Maintenance

Lawn Goodbye 2019: We’ve Got Palms! Frequent Visitors & Low Maintenance

“Kim transformed our front yard from a drought disaster to a beautifully designed area complimenting our palm trees. Loving the view from the kitchen window, of our beautiful redwood fence and the plants and flowers that Kim chose for our flower beds. So happy with the way everything looks!”

Thank you Kim for your design expertise and plant knowledge.

R & M, Menlo Park, CA

This home’s location is in a Well-Traveled Menlo Park neighborhood with Frequent Visitors
A stunning dramatic feature here!
Two Established Majestic Palm Trees over 40 feet tall each!FrontDSC00331

These 2 Palm trees were a significant reason & loved from the very first time my clients purchased their home since 1983.
The front was shrouded by this established oversized Juniper Hedge. According to them, this hedge had been there since they purchased the home, likely a long time established with the prior owners! With my clients goals communicated to primarily add a functional barrier for the property, as well create a path for the weekly trash cans, all the while adding curb appeal for this well-traveled neighborhood with frequent on foot visitors.

The front former grass had too much competition due to the 2 magnificent Palm Trees.
Artificial Turf was a beautiful, practical solution maintaining the green grass effect while low water and low maintenance.

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The perimeter plantings planted intentionally for year round interest and kitchen window vista while Rose is often busy washing dishes at the sink which looks out onto the street.
Brightly blooming plants and flowers in waves of reds, yellows, chartreuse, white and purple from every vista;
all the while attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and local birds to snack on the nectar of these hand selected plants and blooms.
Throughout the day these clients are greeted with visitors stopping over during their daily dog walks. All in all, this quiet Menlo Park neighborhood has these homeowners enjoying a busy driveway and an inviting space with curb appeal on a regular basis.
A welcoming open garage that functions as this retired client’s work room and shop for his actually making knives, or friends of his admiring the gorgeous 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe!


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Posted in Drought Tolerant, Garden Color, Perennial, Small Space Makeover, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Warmer January 2018 = Vivid Hues Arriving!

Last month we here in N. CA experienced record high temperatures; warmer days that usual January hitting mid 70’s for over 2 weeks.  This has brought on, or dare I say confused the many trees, plants and flowers into significantly earlier blooming cycles.   This morning, with camera in hand I visited 5 current clients gardens for a pretty morning stroll – in some instances it appeared as if the daffodil was talking to the nearby tulips and ranunculas!  The lighting for the camellias against a crystal blue sky was breathtaking.

The Gifts of Mother Nature photos – sorry! with no surround sound here included. Please imagine how I was joined in every garden by birds happily chirping and flying about, colors of the proverbial rainbow in epic vivid incredible hues as if all were created with natural crayons where my eyes and feet took me around and around in these Palo Alto and Los Altos clients spaces.

The Gifts of Gratitude of This Day February 13, 2018 in the Life of Kim,

A Blessed Garden Designer arm chair view for you today…

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Posted in 2018,, Fountain, Garden Color, Outdoor living room, Perennial, Tulips, Daffodils, Ranunculas,, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lawn Goodbye: Hello Urban Living with All Around Enjoyment!

This Urban neighborhood in E. Palo Alto, CA captures:

Hello Urban Living With All Around Enjoyment!

Hired to address these many underutilized small spaces with big potential opportunity for form and function and inviting destinations.
With utilizing many vistas from interior window views while practicality when outside adding privacy from neighbors on 3 separate sides.

This client found me on, requesting her outdoor spaces to be offering a place to have her hands in the earth,
frequently looking forward to tending to her home garden.
Also, to enjoy growing annual flowers for bringing indoors for bouquets;
or delighting being surrounded with bolder, bright colors for brightening the front sunny spaces and backyard mostly shaded by many neighboring trees and 2 story houses nearby.

The goal for me as the designer is to create an inviting space with function and practicality, each space as easy on the eyes, with comfortable, functional design —
utilizing the separate small spaces to the ultimate maximal use of every available area for many seasons to come.

The challenging aspect from the former lawn in back had the established tree roots dominating at soil line due to years of lawn being watered before the drought. In order to not compromise and maintain the health of the tree, the work around was my designing the seating wall. A Win Win Solution !

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An incredible addition for the benefit of additional stunning lighting from inside vistas to expand bringing outdoors inside or when outside entertaining and her invited guests to relax by the fire expanding the built in added seating across from the fire pit with the mentality the more the merrier!

Creatively Adding Napa-esque style a custom painted water feature fountain is soothing just looking at it. The colorful plantings by day and many hummingbirds and birds already, natural relaxing sounds are effective. In the evening, with additional low voltage lighting controlled by a dimmer changing the tone and mood in subtle yet soothing complimenting plantings nearby. Subtle and stunning from inside or out.

The time is here and now for this homeowner to enjoy any time of day her new completed landscaped spaces and conversation or dining areas in her maximized narrow spaces!

An absolute win win for everyone & flying feathered guests coming and going!

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In A Client’s Own Words: What This Garden Means to Anne

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Hi Kim, “I love being in the garden you were so instrumental in creating. It is a place I can go when I really need to lose myself and relax. Then, unknowingly, I find various plants and flowers vying for … Continue reading

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End of Summer Tour 5 Gardens Inviting Spaces to Enjoy ~Virtual Garden Tour For You~

An Armchair Virtual Garden Tour For You showing with what my camera in hand captures visual moments of these 5 ongoing clients gardens where pausing to witness thriving flowers and plants Summer 2017 clients gardens…

The reward for me as a designer is the collaboration with clients and maintenance and always the energy of joy and love, mingled with the magic of time…

No Reservations Required for these Home Owners!

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Posted in Container Gardening, Fire pit, Fountain, Garden Color, Outdoor living room, Perennial, Summer 2017, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

End of Summer: Growing “Alto” in Palo Alto (Alto in Spanish is Tall!)

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Posted in Container Gardening, Fire pit, Fountain, Garden Color, Outdoor living room, Perennial, Summer 2017, Uncategorized | Leave a comment