Growth Thru the Heat Waves, Fires, Smoky Skies & Covid-19

So its one of these mornings when the mind is speaking up…It’s been an incredible summer being a Landscape designer during Covid-19.

New Palo Alto clients and longtime clients where it all began for me back in 2008 hiring me to do landscape projects in their gardens.
These past few weeks of my working days, I have been blessed to be visiting and returning to my seasonal update clients gardens to do the Fall/Winter walk thru. This is my twice a year maintaining part for some of my clients. I show up to count spaces for the new annual plants to be switching places with the Spring/Summer flowers.This is a very rewarding aspect of my already satisfying, gratifying, fulfilling landscape designer days!
House by house, some clients know I am coming, as we do schedule an appointment. Others are inside handling home schooling for their children, or working now at home. Or some clients are happy when they see me there for an impromptu hello. This is as sweet as it gets for me day by day, and I am filled with gratitude in an impossible way to articulate in the here and now to be on the sidelines of all to behold.
In 2020 – Garden by garden, there has been this incredible gift to witness the palpable, visible growth during these unprecedented months of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

“Blending the style and design with the practical lifestyle needs of the family is paramount. When working with clients, their needs and desires take center stage.”

~Kim Beber

All the horrific, horrendous fires. The unprecedented temperatures during our summer heat waves. Covid months of sheltering in place for many others have still shined this incredibly powerful message “beautiful life going on right here.”    

These past few Weeks of seeing the end of summer growth in these few clients and my own gardens is the powerful uplifting reminder to keep optimism, perseverance, positive attitude.
The last part is that all this beauty reminds me of resilience.

Life is resilient…

Since the Pandemic began back in March, I’ve felt aware of the reality we are in this Pandemic all together; albeit separated from seeing one another, or if we are outdoors, then for all involved safety is protocol – protection in wearing a mask and embracing we are happier this way in order to be together. The more than 100 mile distance of traveling to other places or even farther has had all of us more or less “grounded.”
Virtual Zoom, phone calls, emailing, snail mailing, chatting with neighbors or strangers has been our new normal – Grounded, staying home for most of the population is also this new normal with whom we know and love.
The words Grounded & Growth  keep coming up for me…

We are being grounded.  Are we also all now growing in some new ways too? What does this actually entail? Is it Like back when being a teenager being grounded by our parents? Having a consequence for our parents reacting to some “bad behavior?” Not actually because we are way more privy to a lot more privileges than that grounded reality entailed. 
Yet, there seems to be lesson in garden by garden witnessing this visible sprouting, blooming, and maturation that is truly beautiful to witness. 

Grounded during Covid 19  is not as bad a place to be.  

It pushes out the distractions for a period if time and creates opportunity for these new changes. Growth in some of our patterns, right?

There have been many positive changes due to Covid-19.
I send my love, my hugs, and gratitude to you in my life, near or far…

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Lawn Goodbye 2020: Freedom Sheltering in Place

These unprecedented times have certainly had a dramatic impact sheltering in place for most of us. Becoming more aware and sensitive to our physical spaces indoors and outdoors; No. CA’s gravitating outside with beautiful temperatures in Springtime here. Our spaces at home have become more essential than perhaps ever before to appreciate and embrace daily reality. No clarity for the opening up the world we knew to explore in the upcoming Summer near or far.
This former Los Altos client contacted me during these unprecedented times of April 2020. As Marilyn at her incredible, amazing age 90 accustomed to frequent traveling. Her weeks at home in her Los Altos residence, included her personal trainer 3 times a week, adding solo

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Posted in 2020, Container Gardening, Garden Color, Mother Nature, Small Space Makeover, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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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

Who I AM

I feel passion when hired by people to extend their living spaces to their outdoor spaces. Arriving at this dirt canvas with my enthusiasm, creativity, high energy, and an eye for less obvious significant details. I just intuitively know (and repeatedly hear) how the homeowners residing with newly created dirt canvases are lured to their outdoor gardens unlike ever before. I feel more excitement when I walk upon an “underutilized outdoor space.” knowing what is about to unfold and transpire. I am most at home when creating with my favorite medium – a dirt canvas. When I apply the paint upon these canvases with unique, seasonal plantings, I know sooner than later magic will engage the viewer with seasonal, year-round newly found garden enticement.
Time after time again, I feel anticipation and sheer delight to be able to manifest this landscaping for the garden-owners, who wonder why they waited so long.

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