Contacts
 
















Barren Backyard
Bordered by Concrete Storm Channel and Grade School's Chain Link Fence

Landscape Architecture by Vella & Associates, Orange, Calif.


image

The existing back yard was the proverbial blank slate. The property line bordered a concrete storm drainage channel, and a chain link fence was all that separated the back yard from a grassy grade school play area.


image

The existing back yard was the proverbial blank slate. The property line bordered a concrete storm drainage channel, and a chain link fence was all that separated the back yard from a grassy grade school play area.


This featured home landscape is in Santa Ana, Calif. (pop. 329,427), a densely housed community that is the county seat of Orange County in southern California. Santa Ana is situated on flat, low-lying plains. Running through the west end of the city is the concrete channeled Santa Ana River, with empties into the Pacific Ocean about 10 miles distant. Downtown Santa Ana is the site of the Civic Center and the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse.

image

image

The outdoor kitchen is faced with Eldorado Stone and complemented by granite counter tops.


The homeowner engaged Vella & Associates to create a pleasant peaceful park like setting for the backyard. The existing back yard was a thoroughly bare landscape, with the property line bordering a concrete storm drainage channel, basically a blank space that opened up all kinds of design possibilities for the landscape architect. Directly on the other side of the channel was a chain link fence that cordoned off a grassy area used by the adjacent K-5 grade school for recess. When the kids are let loose on the space, all their bottled up energy is instantly unleashed. There's running, screaming, cavorting, chasing one another around and general exuberance that is marvelous to watch. Looking at all that unbridled joy and rambunctiousness makes adults jealous and wishing somehow they could tap into all that energy. The homeowners wanted to take advantage of this colorful, active view.

The client also wanted a large hobby workshop, plus a large covered B.B.Q., with both to match the residential architecture.

image

An Italian style four-tiered 'Cantera' cast stone garden fountain is the back yard focal point.


Role of the Landscape Architect
The landscape architect of course had to meet with the homeowners to discuss and understand their lifestyle, entertainment needs, wish list and their budget, then clarify the design direction they would like to pursue. The landscape architect then mapped in and analyzed the site conditions and discussed the ramifications. This was followed by researching county requirements and site restrictions, then preparing and presenting colored preliminary designs.

After reviewing the preliminary plans to insure complete understanding of the design elements, the landscape architect prepared the bid, working drawings, construction details and specifications. This was followed by assisting the homeowners in locating the specialty plants, and being on call to answer questions and assist in solving unforeseen problems that came up during the construction.

image

Out from the new unattached, covered outdoor kitchen area is a 1,322 sq. ft. synthetic putting green that combines TigerTurf Diamond Pro 80 oz. artificial fescue with nylon 'Putt 2 Tone'.


The Vella & Associates Design provided large areas for entertaining. There's a fire pit with a wood bench adjacent to open patio areas for dancing, dining or games. The fire pit was custom built with architectural stone from El Dorado. The 'Cypress Ridge Countryside' stone is inspired by the Italian and Provencal architecture. The "wood" bench is Trex, a composite material.

An Italian style four-tiered cast stone garden fountain is the back yard focal point.

The client wanted an area for games or outdoor camping for the grand kids. The choice was a lawn of Marathon sod offset with 'Sweet Shade' (Hymenosporum flavum) trees, a medium sized Australian native with dark green glossy leaves and yellow scented flowers.

A special feature of the backyard is a 1,322 sq. ft. synthetic putting green, which combines TigerTurf Diamond Pro Fescue artificial grass with Nylon Putt 2 Tone by No-Mow Turf of Trabuco Canyon, Ca.

image

The backyard hardscape is a diamond cut stamped concrete. The custom fire pit is 'Cypress Ridge Countryside' architectural stone in irregular shapes. Gold, browns and olive green hues are offset with rust-colored accents. Behind the Trex bench to the right is a Magnolia x soulangeana 'Alexlandrina' that required a search from Santa Barbara to San Diego to locate. The other trees are 'Sango-Kaku' coral bark maples, with bright yellow 'Kangaroo Paws' in the foreground.


A semi-secluded seating area offers a El Dorado stone bench surrounded by a colorful rose garden. A second semi-secluded seating area with another stone bench is surrounded by weeping Peppermint willows (Agonis flexuosa) and overlooks the putting green, with the school playground in the far background.

Trees and shrubs were specified for seasonal color, including a very hard to find Magnolia x soulangeana 'Alexlandrina', commonly known as saucer magnolia. The 'Alexandrina', introduced in France around 1831, flowers a purple pink with white interiors and rarely produces fruit. Its oblong green leaves are 4-8" long. The foliage turns greenish-yellow in the fall.



As seen in LASN magazine, November 2017.






HTML Comment Box is loading comments...


November 19, 2017, 7:59 pm PST

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2017 Landscape Communications Inc.


We Support
LO financially supports many asssociations through either the payment of dues, conference exhibits and/or discounted advertising
   

Last Updated 11-16-17
New Comic Every Monday & Thrusday.