2008-01-31

LA Times article on garden redesign

Today's LA Times Home and Garden section has an interesting article on redesign of a conventional lawn+garden in Sherman Oaks.

"We wanted no obvious separation between the garden and the view," the designer says. In order to seamlessly connect the 8,000-square-foot, pie-shaped lot with vistas of live oaks, native shrubs, mature Italian cypresses, palms and eucalyptus trees, Kuhlmann suggested removing three backyard distractions: a leaky 1960s swimming pool encircled by brick and concrete, a 4-foot-high block wall that spanned the property's west perimeter and the expansive lawn. My emphasis.

The 1960's era pool gets replaced by an infinity pool, which looks great. However, I notice that it isn't fenced. Perhaps they can get away with that because their entire back yard is restricted? Clearly, it's not a house for little kids.

Not that I'm sour about it, but it seems that featured homes in the LA Times are often those of celebrities. Certainly, people in The Business (in casual conversation you can hear the capital letters) often have an artistic sensibility and oodles of disposable income. Still, I wonder how the Times selects the gardens it profiles. One thought: Garden designers are in the business of self-promotion and in the position to know the relative merits of many gardens, so perhaps the determining factor is hiring a well-connected garden designer with a yen for self-promotion.

A related article profiles the "various plants [used] to transform the Wehle-Lynch backyard" which is an interesting read if one focuses on the design guidelines (repetition, focus on foliage not flower, motion, scent, micro-climate) that underly the plant selection.