The owners of this classic Mediterranean home in Glendale, California contacted Sally Farnum of SE Farnum Associates in Altadena for a new front yard design requiring minimal maintenance and low water use. Her design included a Gladding McBean Oil Jar fountain conversion in Caribbean, as well as two Gladding McBean planters flanking the front entrance.
The neighborhood in Glendale, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, was lined with houses showing off well-manicured lawns and lush plantings. But like most streets, it had ”that one house.” You know the house. Dried and dying lawn, gopher holes dotting the landscape, and essentially an eyesore to a neighborhood that otherwise boasts its curb appeal. Before their neighbors stopped talking to them, my clients contacted me to revamp the landscape in front of their home. These were busy clients who just work, work, work, leaving very little time for yard work. They were leaving the digging and turning of the soil to the gophers and the trimming to the deer. They even spent a few hours a week unsuccessfully trying to combat rodents with traps, flooding, and varmint bombs.
Change did not come easily to these clients, but they knew they needed to do something. They requested a garden design that would require minimal maintenance and low water but still incorporate beautiful plantings, as well as being deer and gopher proof. I discussed the beauty of replacing their lawn with a composition of decomposed granite, new and colorful water-wise plantings, hardscape using saltillo concrete tiles and a new fountain.
Initially the clients’ three colors of choice were beige, dark beige, and white, but I was able to convince them that a lively color palette can be beautiful, energizing, and attractive not only to them, but to desirable visitors like butterflies, bees, and birds. The plantings include colorful sages, ceanothus, lantana, and achillea that not only drink little but the deer and pesky gophers don’t find them to their culinary liking. It’s been almost a year and they haven’t lost any plants to the wildlife, what a success!
The colors of the Malibu tiles that we used in the hardscape were definitely an influence on my desire to use a Gladding, McBean oil jar for a fountain. I was thrilled that my clients selected the Caribbean blue over a more subtle color and love the fountain conversion done by Eye of the Day. The clients are so happy with their colorful garden that they recently asked me to help select the palette for the re-painting of their house and of course the selections are very close to the color of the Gladding McBean fountain.