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Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
Los Osos, Calif., Pacific Coast, San Luis Obispo County

Jeffrey Gordon Smith earned his BS in landscape architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1989. He spent his early career working for Peridian, Peter Walker and Partners, and Martha Schwartz, Ken Smith, and David Meyers. In 1992, he launched his own design firm. Paul Wolfgang Steimer, BLA, works with Jeffrey as an assistant designer. He also earned his degree from Cal Poly.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture has always had a passion for unique plants and meticulous attention to project design concepts, often using plants to soften the sometimes harsh lines of hardscape.

The firm strives to marry architecture with cohesive landscape design that looks and feels as though it belongs in the context of its surroundings. There's a strong conviction toward a regional style which advocates an exploration of the site and geography to find the genius loci, or "spirit of place."

Keeping continuity in a project makes for a strong and cohesive design. Viewing a project holistically means considering landscape, architecture, distant views, materials, colors, textures, shapes, forms and the client's needs as separate parts of one entity. Quality workmanship, genius loci and continuity ultimately bring clients cherish spaces and connection to place.



Spanish Spa Retreat, Paso Robles, Calif.


A decorative custom hot tub was used as a fountain centerpiece to maximize the space of this "Spanish spa" retreat, which boasts vibrant custom colored tiles throughout. All flatwork tile was designed by Fireclay Tile. A covered patio extends from the interior to create a smooth transition from the home to a relaxing space with custom fabricated fire bowls and a large vase (Gladding McBean) as a water feature.

The project won the "Best Outdoor Design" award from California Home + Design

Photos: Jeffrey Gordon Smith; Last Photo: Jim Everett Photography

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Modern Vineyard, Paso Robles, Calif.


For this new home overlooking the clients' 72-acre vineyard in Paso Robles, and in the midst of the southern California drought, JGSLA applied a subdued palette of timeworn olive trees and Mediterranean grasses that mirror the native vegetation. A clean hardscape of pavers and rugged boulders and gravel bring a fun California twist to the traditional modern aesthetic.

Photos: Chris Leschinsky

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Modern Beach Vision, Morro Bay, Calif.


Hardscapes and Mediterranean plants connect the beach setting and the architecture of this modern home. Main plantings include sedges, rye grasses, Grevillea and yellow Kangaroo Paws. The distinctive 4" x 48" concrete pavers are set off with blue sedges and mixed sizes of Mexican pebbles. The JGS designed central water feature is clad in black granite, as is the rear fire pit. "Best Outdoor Design" award -- California Home + Design

Photos: Tom Hessel

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Back Bay Retreat, Los Osos, Calif.


This back-bay residence melds contemporary design with rugged natural elements to reflect the surrounding landscape. The bay's arcing shoreline and estuary are emulated by the smooth curving hardscape walls, the textured stone seat walls and in the walkways. The polish of the concrete seat walls mirror the sheen on the waters of the bay in the late afternoon. The main paving stone mimics the colors in the distant sand-spit. Dark blue Mexican pebbles fill the joints between the flagstones. Plantings of restios, dwarf coyote brush, hybrid yarrow and Artemisia reflect the native landscape of the estuary.

Photos: Chris Leschinsky

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Santa Barbara Modern Ranch



This 1950s ranch house, reinvented by architect Nick Noyes of San Francisco, took advantage of the site's dynamic views, exceptional climate and location in the foothills of Santa Barbara. This landscape blends architecture and surrounding views of the Santa Ynez mountains to create an intimate sense of place.

A deck was added off the guest bedroom and office where a secluded redwood hot tub was integrated for that ultimate spa feel. Santa Barbara sandstone was used throughout the site for the fire pit and accent pieces to tie back to the natural geology of the area.

Another challenge of the site was finding a way to preserve mountain views for the client and their neighbors, while also creating privacy. This was accomplished using staggered plantings of Mexican weeping bamboo to accompany the existing stand of timber bamboo. The site was tied together with agave attenuata 'Nova', mixed succulents, evergreen miscanthus and a Mediterranean palette indicative of the surrounding area. A garden hides behind the rosemary hedge in large galvanized feed troughs to provide year round fruits and vegetables.

Photos: Tom Hessel

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As seen in LASN magazine, October 2017, Firms.








December 13, 2017, 11:52 pm PST

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