What does your home landscape look like?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION What does your home landscape look like?

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    Roland Beinert

    Just curious what other LA’s have done with their own yard.
    After years of living in apartments with no yard, I finally have a landlord who is willing to let me have a veggie garden in the small back yard. It’s nothing to brag about. I can’t do anything other than a garden, since I don’t own the place and the owners are letting the building and yard degrade. They told me they plan to tear it all down to build a new house in a few years. (But it’s cheap and I’m unemployed).


    I created a blog were I show all the news in my garden “http://jardimehorta.blogspot.com/”. unfortunately is in Portuguese, I don’t have the time, yet, to make it bilingue. but you can have a look and then tell me what you think of it.
    By the way, your garden seems fine but a bit fresh, it needs time to be more expressive. Good luck

    Miles Barnard

    Chaos! With tiny bits of thoughtful design here and there. I mostly use my home garden as a big test plot for plants I want to use in designs. I try not to spec. something I haven’t grown myself. So I have a jumble of this and that as a result. And I always grab a few things from my projects where an existing landscape is getting torn out or rearranged. What’s that saying about the cobbler’s children being without shoes?


    I have also lived in my fair share of apartments or homes without a yard, until now! I am renting a home in the city, so while the yard is small, it has a lot of potential. The owners were the previous tenants, and with 4 black thumbs between the two of them, the yard is now mostly weeds. I would love to invest my time and labor into the yard, but it’s hard to invest money when I will be leaving the property in just a few short years. I am in the process of convincing the landlord to take the opportunity while he has free labor, to invest in a new landscape. We’ll see how it goes! I am also a fan of taking any usable plants from a job site before it’s destroyed. It’s a great way to recycle, and makes our own yards bloom.

    Jennifer de Graaf

    I also live in an apartment, but one with a big patio, 3 Redwood trees (which was a bad idea executed by someone else) and a Tibouchina. I use it as a testing area too, since I don’t own this garden, I am just renting the space. I grow all sorts of things but I am not all that great about keeping up on the maintenance so it is weedy. Many of my precious plants are in pots so that I can take them with me when I have a house of my own and can put them in the ground. I sometimes wish I could afford a gardener like my clients!

    Roland Beinert

    I probably won’t be in this apartment for too long, so I also struggled with whether I wanted to invest too much time and money. That’s part of the reason why I went with a veggie garden. At least I get something out of it then.
    I relied on pots up until now. It took me a while to figure out how to build the soil in a closed system, but now the soil in them is better than the soil in the garden. They also are pretty much pest free, whereas in the garden my basil, carrots and broccoli get eaten within a day after I put it in (not by me).

    Clayton Munson

    Forget the gardener. I sometimes which I could afford a house like my clients or at least half the size of my clients.

    Jennifer de Graaf

    yep – goes without saying! I consider myself lucky to have a garden at all, it has been a tremendous help to me in professional practice at least in residential work. I often find that I know/understand plants better than my employers.


    Here are some images of my garden before and after.
    I believe that a garden is a lab to any LA. We test plants and materials all the time, and we also have a small veg garden.
    All images are available at “http://jardimehorta.blogspot.com/” with the history of the garden.

    Roger Bisbe

    I too use my yard as a testing ground for plant material. 30 years in the trade and I learn something new everyday, particularly with plant life. If you just have a small plot, begin to experiment with all the herbaceous plants out there. Most of their characterisitics will manifest themselves in a relatively short period of time – you could then change them out and try something different. What you learn from this “test plot” would be so valuable in your design work.

    Chad Crutcher

    “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” accurately describes the cumulative history of my personal residential landscapes…except for the last 6 years that my wife and I have been so fortunate to live in Truckee, CA. Dense forest is our yardscape…and we live in mortal fear of fire every June through October. When not at work, I am one lazy son of a gun!

    Paul Deering


    The recession gave my wife and I (partners in our LA business of 30 years) the time to completely re-landscape our house. We removed all shrubs and groundcovers and all pavement except the driveway. This proved to be important because the grading could be done right (50 years of soil build-up and settling in and around the plants could not be corrected in and around the plants). We installed a complete irrigation system w. smart controller, and planted native California plants last Fall. The project cost about $15,000 in materials and a small amount of labor. We did most of the work ourselves. We’re in the 100 degrees of July now, so we’re learning all about the “smart controller”. The experience has been very educational – about the “smart controller” and also about the realities of using natives in a suburban landscape. I’ll attach some recent photos.

    Paul & Annalisa Deering – Deering Design, Davis, California

    Roland Beinert

    Hopefully, someday I’ll have a place where I can experiment with an irrigation system. I’ve done some irrigation plans before, but I have a feeling you understand the whole system better when you install everything yourself.
    I guess the veggie garden has given me a chance to try sheet mulching. I used newspaper rather than cardboard under the mulch, and the paper seems to disintegrate pretty quickly. So far there haven’t been any weeds, though, and it does seem to be building the soil a bit.

    Ben Yahr

    I always used to say that despite being a landscape architect, my landscape was unkempt because it was “like how the pastor’s children are the most lawless”, but I like your analogy much better. I have lots of ideas for my yard, but meeting the needs of the client (my wife) rather than designing for the sake of design has been an issue; along with cashflow/time/and laziness…

    Linda W. Jones

    Dear Roland,

    You can see what my home landscape looks like if you go to http://webshots.com/user/lindawjones1 or to the photos or videos
    on this landscape8lounge site.

    Linda Jones

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