This small, elegant Zen garden is deceptively simple but full of fine design details.  Its beauty embodies qualities of asymmetry, simplicity, intimacy and the integrity of natural objects.

The homeowner wanted a Japanese style garden but with modern details. We created a visually pleasing Asian inspired patio design with the look and feel of a modern garden setting but also appropriate for California.  Elements include not only the hardscape and plants, but also the garden ornaments.  It is important that the beauty of a garden be available not only from the patio, but also as viewscape from inside the house. The Japanese theme is enhanced with a hand carved Japanese water fountain and delicate red maple tree in full view of the back window of the home, where homeowners can sit and enjoy the garden.

The garden structure is expressed in minimalist in the uncomplicated layout, use of concrete, low retaining wall seating bench, and panels covering the utilities using clean horizontal lines to create a unifying linearity throughout the varied sections of the landscape. A clean, minimalist simplicity is also accomplished by limiting the materials to steel, concrete and Ipe wood, and natural materials.  To reduce the impression of an outdoor kitchen, the BBQ grill is disguised in the horizontal panel screen.  The plants are Asian garden inspired, but Southern California climate-appropriate. 

The side yard area doubles as a viewing gallery for an artistic vertical garden wall.  The succulent living walls as artwork are a growing gardening trend.  Easily maintained by an automatic drip system, as the plants grow they can be broken off and replanted in the piece as an ever-evolving design.

The homeowner enjoys many types of plants, so the design incorporates her favorites grouped on separate irrigation systems to better accommodate their similar watering needs and optimizing water use, a technique known as hydro-zoning.  One garden section is devoted to succulent plants, with not only minimal irrigation, but also soil amended for fast draining so as to not let water stand on the roots.  There’s no lawn to mow or flowers to fuss, but it still has plenty of greenery. Unusual specimen plants in the container gardening make wow factors.