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Sacred Garden Designs, Inc.
Santa Monica, Calif.

Sacred Garden Designs, Inc., lead by founder/president Denise Buchanan, MA, MLA, ASLA, has been creating sustainable and water-wise landscapes throughout the greater Los Angeles area over the last 25 years. The firm has an A-list of celebrity clients. Its projects have been featured on HGTV's "Ground Rules," the Bravo TV series "Flipping Out" and the Etherworks Production "Sold on Green." Sacred Garden Designs, Inc. is a Landscape Pro with Houzz for four consecutive years and is a 2015 Sustainable Business Council Nominee for the Best Public Advocate for Sustainability. Sacred Garden Designs, Inc. is a certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE) with a crew of 11 key seasoned industry professionals. Services include hardscape installation, residential design, urban design and planning, community and school garden design, park master planning and streetscape improvements.



Coyote Free Back Yard Garden Sanctuary, Hollywood Hills Residence


This home was steeply sloped, unusable, susceptible to erosion and vulnerable to coyote visits. Sacred Garden Designs started on pruning trees on the property to minimize coyote hiding places. The pool and waterfall were removed from the lower back yard and a dense Tacoma synthetic turf installed.

Grading removed 70 cubic yards of soil from the hillside to create terraces. A curvilinear four-foot wide promenade was created and compacted with base material and stabilized decomposed granite. A secure bender board edge anchors the lower edge. A four-foot tall retaining wall was built on the upper side of the hillside and clad with El Dorado architectural stone. A trench filled with gravel and rock was installed behind the wall. A perforated pipe directs excess water from the hillside under the walkway into the lower planting area.

Thousand pound Malibu boulders with natural occurring flat areas were used as seating boulders along the decomposed granite path. Raised planters made of stacked bluestone were backfilled with organic planting mix and planted with New Zealand flax and star jasmine.

Soil was removed around a pepper tree to create the new terrace. The client wanted to save the tree. Sacred Garden Designs installed a concrete seating wall around the pepper tree and backfilled it with a nitrified soil mix.

Bluestone flagstone was installed as the patio around the pepper tree and decomposed granite was installed between the pavers. To accentuate the back patio and muffle noise from the neighbors, an Andalusia fountain was located along the north wall, which required over 110 linear feet of trenching and electrical piping to install a GFCI outlet. A separate valve was also installed to create a low flow, self-filling fountain.

Sacred Garden Designs installed safe, humane, aluminum ribbed 'Coyote Rollers' on top of the block walls. The rollers keep coyotes from getting a foothold on the top of the fence, allowing the client's pets to safely roam their new backyard.

Star jasmine was threaded along wire cables to decorate the bare white perimeter walls and the remaining hillside planters were planted with a harmonious mix of New Zealand flax, Pride of Madeira, rockrose, agave, sages, aloe, Osteospermum, Hesperaloe, lantana and crape myrtle. Bark mulch was added to retain moisture and minimize weed growth on the upper planters and deeply rooted flats of Myoporum parvifolium were planted to retain the soil on the steepest parts of the slope.

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Hillside Oasis, Hollywood Hills


This backyard nestled beside a steep hillside was in need of some TLC. Sacred Garden Designs demolished the pool tile, steps and removed the gravel from the fireplace patio, retiling the pool deck with imported French limestone and installing new landscaping around the pool.

The side yard barbeque area faced the pool equipment. The landscape architect designed, built and installed a white country gate with a decorative smooth curved top to block the view of the equipment. Bluestone multicolor flagstone with decomposed granite and Dymondia were added to the side yard patio and walkway areas, along with a welcome Grand Avignon fountain in French limestone. An olive tree with soft plantings beneath provided the finishing touch to the patio.

Sacred Garden Designs built a side fence and curved privacy gate with antique bolts and also resurfaced the hillside steps with bluestone multicolor flagstone, installed stepstone capstones on the terraced walls and resurfaced the fireplace with Bucks County dressed fieldstone.

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Outpost Estates, Residential Front Yard, Hollywood Hills, California


Recent renovations to this Mediterranean style residence, nestled along a heavily trafficked corridor in the Los Angeles Outpost Estates, devastated the landscape and left the home exposed to the heavily trafficked street. The client desired an urban refuge from their busy professional lives and subduing the traffic noise, creating easy access across the property and minimizing maintenance and water use and runoff in the landscape. The design showcases creative use of space, materials and sustainable strategies to address erosion, water conservation, environmental noise, soil integrity, ecology and predators. The focus was on creating visual interest along the walkways and placement of plant combinations.

Graded the property ensured a gradual flow of water over permeable surfaces, with any additional runoff directed to a dry riverbed to reuse runoff and keep water on the property. Malibu boulders and stabilized decomposed granite were integrated into a California-Mediterranean plant palette of lavender, rosemary, irises, verbena, iceberg roses, Osteospermum, New Zealand flax, sages and buddleia. All planting areas were infused with amended and organic soil mixes. Fifteen-gallon hedge plants of evergreen flowering Ligustrum japonicum texanum were planted two feet on center for fast privacy. A permeable walkway of bluestone multicolor flagstone pavers were installed in a curvilinear path, with Dymondia margaretae planted between the pavers. A smart irrigation control system was installed and precision nozzles used on the irrigation heads, which used less water to reach the radii of conventional nozzles. A large recirculating urn fountain was relocated to the south of the property for better visibility. It was installed to overflow into a circular bed of beige colored Colorado pebbles that provide a visual link across the flagstone path, creating a dry river bed that encircles a mature redwood.

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Canyon House, Los Angeles


The client's of this remodeled home in the Griffith's Park area of Los Angeles wanted new entry planters built either side of the steps leading up to the front door, and direct access to the mailbox from the house. The firm designed and built an elegant staircase to the street, being mindful to preserve and protect the roots of the California oak tree.

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As seen in LASN magazine, October 2017, Firms.






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