Clients John and Nancy, a retired couple in Mountain View, enjoy traveling, spending time with their family and growing their own vegetables. They came to me with a request that many people have these days, “Design us a private sanctuary that is fun and safe for my grandchildren and the dog, but also make it easy to maintain.”

No problem! We began with a site analysis of their corner lot property noting the strengths and challenges of each area. Since they had a full sun side yard, it was obvious where the new edible garden would reside. We said goodbye to the circa 1970’s pittosporum hedges and designed multiple raised planter beds, wire trellises for grape vines and a cut flower area. A single post arbor frames the guest bedroom window while still allowing in sunlight and begins the wire trellis vine support.

The backyard had an existing pool, hot tub and nice shade canopy that made growing a traditional lawn impossible. By extending the fence line out towards the veggie area, we reclaimed some much needed space for a covered sand pit for the grandchildren to play in and a larger turf area for their elderly golden retriever to nap on. We reworked the circulation pathways and got rid of the tripping hazards from the mossy flagstone and the awkward entry to the hot tub.

With our motto of more fun with less work, we made two major decisions. Keep most of the shade canopy intact and install realistic (artificial) turf that will save the homeowners time and money from mowing, fertilizing and dog urine burn spots.

Additional seating was added to allow them different points to relax in the garden. Probably the most relaxing and most requested place to sit in the garden is in the “air chair” swing! Another relaxing place is under the single post arbor flanked by ceramic glazed pots which gives a great view of the new water feature.

With the fun of the vegetables, cut flowers, sand pit, and swing with the relaxing elements of the water feature, no-mow lawn and hot tub, what’s not to love?

Landscape construction provided by SouthBay Landscaping.