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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 traditional Japanese style garden with modern details. We created a visually pleasing Asian inspired patio design with the look and feel of a modern garden setting appropriate for California. Design elements include the hardscape, the plants, and the garden ornaments. 

It is important that the beauty of a garden be accessible not only from the patio, but also as a 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’s minimalism is conveyed through its uncomplicated layout, and use of clean horizontal lines for the low low retaining wall seating bench and panels covering the utilities. This creates a unifying linearity throughout the varied sections of the landscape. A clean, minimalist simplicity is also accomplished by limiting the materials to steel, concrete, Ipe wood, and natural elements.  To reduce the impression of an outdoor kitchen, the BBQ grill is disguised in the horizontal panel screen.  The plants are Asian garden inspired, and Southern California climate appropriate. 

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

This homeowner enjoys a wide variety of plants so the design plan has her favorites grouped according to their water needs. The groupings are on separate irrigation systems to accommodate their similar watering requirements and optimize water use. This technique known as hydro-zoning.  

One garden section is devoted to succulent plants. It not only has minimal irrigation, but its soil is also amended for fast draining to protect the roots from standing water.  There’s no lawn to mow or flowers to fuss over, but garden still has plenty of greenery to enjoy. Unusual specimen plants in the container gardening add wow factors to this captivating minimalist garden.