Category Archives: Work in Progress

Completed Project- Petaluma

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.

Petaluma Front Yard Makeover

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.




Completed Project- Kent Woodlands New Home

We are just wrapping up work on this project in Kent Woodlands, a complete re-landscaping for a large new home. The project, designed by Bradanini and Associates incorporated new bluestone patios, extensive walkways, mediterranean and shade garden areas, a redone swimming pool and large synthetic turf putting green.


Current Project- Petaluma

For this project in Petaluma we removed an existing rear patio and installed a new colored concrete patio, BBQ area, and modern floating square concrete slab entry path. The landscape will be installed in phase 2 of the project.

Completed Project- Petaluma Estate

This project in Petaluma’s Boulevard Heights neighborhood transformed a neglected formal garden and infused it with new life. We are just completed the second phase of the project, seeding a large meadow lawn and planting screening trees and shrubs for a new garage building. Last spring we installed new plantings, irrigation, and retrofitted existing garden pathways. A large 48″ box tree was installed to balance existing trees on the property and compliment a new driveway installation. In phase two 24″ box Arizona Cypress were installed to help screen the new garage building. Even though they have been in less than 6 months, the first phase plantings are maturing nicely. Plantings are installed with a weather adaptive Hunter Solar Sync Controller for optimal water savings on the large lot.

Current Project- Petaluma

Here is a large McNear Paver and planter installation for a project in Petaluma. The old yard had a smaller concrete patio that we installed the pavers directly over, minimizing excavation and debris disposal.

Completed Project- Penngrove

We just finished a front yard garden in Penngrove, which removed an old lawn and reinvented  it as a more usable, dynamic garden space. A organic path now meanders through the yard by a new seating area spilling pot fountain.

I knew that by removing our front lawn, I wanted to have low maintenance plantings that would be aesthetically pleasing while using much less water than the lawn required.  O’Connell Landscape came up with a design that achieved both.  I was pleased that they were flexible in utilizing some of the material we had in another part of our yard (gravel) to incorporate into the design, thus recycling and keeping costs down.

Communication about the project was exceptional.

-Joan Walsh, Penngrove

New front garden plan that re-imagined an unused front lawn

Current Project- Mill Valley

This terracing project in Mill Valley is transforming a sloping back yard into a usable lawn space and play area. With some grading of the existing hillside and new wood retaining walls a good size area has been created that compliments a large patio space  installed in the first phase of the project.

In Progress- Mill Valley Wood Retaining Wall & Lawn Area
Large Concrete Patio with Stone Seat Wall Installed in Project Phase I

Mill Valley Project Completed

One of the great things about working on residential landscape construction projects is it gives us the opportunity to work closely with homeowners to transform the yards and outdoor spaces. We just wrapped a hillside project installation in Mill Valley.

“The best contractor we have ever worked with!  Always responsive and sensitive to budget issues.  We would highly recommend O’Connell Landscape.”

-Kim Niquette, Mill Valley

Novato Completed Project

This project in Novato was a multi-phase project that grew from an initial focus on one section of the yard, to a comprehensive new grouping of flagstone patios, steps, and plantings.
We used a Dusty Way Indian Sandstone to tie together the front entry, side landings and steps, and a large rear patio.

“We had such a good experience we increased the work 4 fold. Workers turned up every day and left the site clean and safe. I would recommend O’Connell for anyone wanting a top quality job with excellent project management” -Juliet, Novato

Petaluma Lawn Renovation

We are working on a project in Petaluma for a lawn renovation and back yard landscaping. The old lawn had broken sprinklers, hadn’t been maintained, and was too big for the back yard. We developed a design to reduce the lawn size, install more efficient spray heads, and incorporate a seating area and low maintenance, low water use plantings for half the lawn area.


pl1.JPGAfter Lawn Tear Out

Synthetic Lawns & Play Space Installations

We are just working on finishing up a couple of projects in San Rafael and Mill Valley that incorporate play friendly synthetic turf with play structures and basketball courts. The owners of both projects have small children and wanted to create a safe and low maintenance outdoor play space for their kids.

In Mill Valley we installed a synthetic lawn with a play structure surrounded by rubber mulch. The rubber mulch is one of the most absorbent materials for play structures, which worked well in the compact space of the play area and the play tower and slide and this project.

lmv.jpgIn San Rafael we installed a play grade synthetic turf with a premium mat backing for better fall absorption. The turf we used here was also denser and incorporated dead thatch yarn making it look much more realistic. We incorporated the lawn with a concrete patio and basketball court. The basketball court featured an adjustable hoop with tempered glass backboard that we installed.


Denser synthetic turf has more fibers, requiring less maintenance. Premium backing provides more cushioning and better feel.

Current Project- Napa Outdoor Kitchen

Here is an updated photo of an outdoor kitchen project we have been working on in Napa. We have just installed this Viking gas grill with warming drawer. Viking makes great outdoor components, and their cabinets are a refined way to create outdoor storage spaces.

Leading to and from and the patio space are these beautiful cedar gates made by Wil Matthews over at Woodcraft Marin. His garden woodwork is some of the finest that we have seen.

Current Project- Napa

Here is a progress image from a large tile patio we are in process of installing for this Napa backyard renovation. The material itself is a unique product from Tile & Stone Concepts in San Rafael, which is custom cast concrete from molds and then colored. The advantage to this custom product is that it can be manipulated in a variety of sizes and applications and color can be custom tuned to the project color palette.


Current Project- Fireplace & Outdoor Kitchen

Here is a current project in Napa for an outdoor fireplace and kitchen that is in construction. The design for this project really opened up a small backyard and brought the detailing and richness that was present inside the house to the landscape for a great outdoor living space.


The outdoor kitchen countertop partially completed- angle iron steel reinforces the countertop to be installed.


Layout of the outdoor kitchen counters and integrated Rumford Fireplace. The color coat of stucco and finish detailing have yet to be installed. See below for the design development details for the fireplace.

Current Project- Mill Valley

Here is some current work on concrete paths and retaining wills for a project in Mill Valley. We are working on the garden for this recently remodeled modern home.

mvc3.JPGRetaining curb wall and concrete rebar before concrete has been poured

mvc2.JPGWalkway and retaining curb wall poured. The color of new concrete starts out dark and rich and fades as it cures.


Layout of concrete walkways and stairs in context with the house. We used a colored concrete here to contrast with the house stucco color and coordinate with the Ipe wood accents.

Spring Projects

Spring is a busy time around here, sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in spring work. Here are some of the projects we have been working on so far this spring:


ppt2.JPGHere is an update to project we completed in the fall, we planted a second round of spring plantings for a full, lush garden. The garden in Tiburon featured a roof garden with great views to San Francisco

Here is another update to a project we have been working on. This pool courtyard in San Rafael was completely redone, with a new concrete dining area, shade arbor and see-through gas fireplace.

Current Project- Pool Courtyard

We are getting close to finishing up this pool courtyard project in San Rafael. Pictured below are an accent water feature, a large wood trellis with masonry pillars and a dual sided gas fireplace. The space is almost ready for outdoor use as we come into spring.


Basalt Bowl Water Feature

Trellis and Fireplace