This project in Petaluma situated on a large corner lot was more or less a clean slate after the initial clean-up. The front yard layout focused on a low maintenance installation featuring grasses and flowering perennials, accented with Sonoma Fieldstone boulders and Trinity Gravel Mulch. The back yard, which is still in design development, has a series of linked spaces and patios, with a more formal planting layout.
We are working on finishing up this project in Petaluma, a re-landscaping of a back yard and pool deck. The old layout was not very usable with a small lawn; the design incorporated a new dry laid bluestone patio, fencing and gate upgrades, new plantings, and a resurfacing of an older cracking concrete pool deck.
We received this note from a client who is an architect after a project proposal.
Sorry that I haven’t piped in yet, but thank you for the thorough presentation and terrific material you left us. We will be reviewing everything this weekend but it’s a real treat to receive such a complete and educational proposal. I know first-hand how much effort goes into what you put together and it reflects very well on your company.
On a recent project we were discussing using Corten steel wall to create and interesting modern look for an Eichler home. Corten is a really visually interesting material- a special type of steel than forms a layer of rust and gives a unique look for landscape art and retaining walls. It’s expensive, but can make a great accent for modern gardens or in areas where the thin look of a steel sheet provides design interest.
Here are some great ideas on Corten walls from Houzz, which is wonderful place to look for precedent images and inspiration
We just purchased a new Nikon digital camera for our office to shoot our projects (and of course as a fun toy).
The quality is amazing, and the wait is over. A professional quality camera (one that would have been the finest available at many thousands of dollars just a few years ago) is available with a couple of lenses for around $800. We picked up a Nikon D3200 DSLR.
Resist the temptation to upgrade to something more expensive. Unless you are going to shoot weddings on the weekends on the side, or paper your office in 24″x36″ photos, you don’t need fancier features or more pixels. The camera will just be outdated in a year or two anyway.
For more of my shots, see my new photo blog- done as a lark to get me to take more and better photos.
Low voltage landscape lighting is one of the most impactful accent features to give that wow factor to your garden. With the newest generation of LED fixtures, there are more options than ever for lighting paths, trees, wall and steps.
Our clients consistently comment that adding lights brought depth to the garden at night and the feel of the landscape inside.
As an aside we just got a new Nikon D3200 digital SLR for our office, which captured the shot above. We were early adopters of DSLRs with an old Nikon D100, and there is no comparison with the newest cameras. The image quality and quality in low light (as shown in the hand held shot above) is amazing. The auto mode on the camera is pretty impressive as well for those who want great quality, but be able to point and shoot.
This new home in Novato combined several elements into a complete back yard installation. Situated with great views of the sweeping San Marin hills, the design for the project incorporated distinct areas- main new deck, new patio with pergola, access pathways up and down hillsides, and a vegetable garden and Japanese inspired zig-zag boardwalk.
O’Connell Landscape has an excellent team of designers, plant specialists, and experienced employees. They communicate well and completed our landscape efficiently and in a very reasonable time. Our backyard is really beautiful and we are enjoying it already.
-Susan and Jeff Schlosser, Novato
This project was a complete reworking of a front and back yard, with new stamped concrete driveway, entry pathway and rear patio. In the back yard we installed a new arbor and revamped an old lawn with new plantings and pathways.
We were very pleased with O’Connell Landscape, from our first meeting with Michael to the completed project of our frontyard, backyard and driveway. Michael was able to take our vision and with his expertise in landscape design exceeded our expectations for our project. The crew was great, they were always on time and at the end of each workday the work areas were straightened and ready for the following day. We had a lot of cement work done and were very pleased with the concrete contractor’s skill with color and design.
We appreciated the landscape drawings that Michael prepared which helped us visualize what the project would look like at completion. The informational booklet that Michael put together for the types and care of the many different plants and trees is proving to be very helpful.
-Ed & Diane Landman, Petaluma
This project in Petaluma was in need of some help, with a large cracked asphalt driveway and a front yard that was being dominated by Juniper. We removed the old driveway and an RV parking area and installed a new stamped concrete parking surface and entry pathways. The junipers were removed and replaced with low maintenance groundcovers and grasses. Lastly, the old nondescript drainage at the front of the property was regraded with boulders, cobblestone and California native Juncus patens.
This Kentfield project won the judges award at this year’s California Landscape Contractors Association North Coast Chapter awards. One of the three top recognitions awarded for all projects, the Judges Award is singled out be the judges as an excellent entry across all categories of installation and maintenance entries in the North Bay.
See the video below for an interactive overview of the project.