More Gold!
This Award-Winning Garden is a Cliff-Hanger!

In my last post  I boasted of being named 2018 Designer of the Year by the APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) – the highest honor in our industry. For our very own garden in Sycamore Canyon, no less!

Since then, I’ve learned that our Sea Cliff project not only won a Gold Award, but it was also the runner-up for the top award! That means that the top two award-winning gardens were both projects that we did!!! You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Are you ready for a little eye candy?

The Sea Cliff project takes The Art of Outdoor Living to new heights — literally and figuratively!

Before. The lot had been scraped before we arrived… and a new wall had sprouted up without a plan and was abandoned before it was finished… (we demo’d it)

After. With its killer views, we thought the site and the newly remodeled house deserved better!

After. Gentle hillocks covered in un-thirsty grass (Leymus triticoides Lagunita – Lagunita Wild Rye) evoke dunes, and a meandering suggestion-of-a-path draws visitors out to the cliff’s edge.

… the perfect perch for scoping out the beach, observing the hang-gliders, watching the whales, enjoying the sunset, imbibing with friends…

This bench and table, a collaboration between the homeowner, the general contractor, Charles Love Construction, Inc.,  and us, was built on I-beams that long ago anchored a deck. It feels like a bier garten table. Room for a dozen or more revelers with a tray of beach sand underfoot to delight the toes. (The bench evolved from the desire to keep people from falling off the cliff, yet avoid looking through a handrail or other barrier.)

In fact, one of the things that made this project so great – and the thing that is present in all of our great projects – was a really great collaboration with the homeowner. (On this project, that great collaboration extended to the general contractor – Charlie Love – as well.)

Here’s an overview of the gathering spot on the edge of the world… the cliff-hanging bench is behind us in this view looking towards the house. There’s a new stone bench around a double fire pit, a dining table in the shade of a salt-pruned eucalyptus and an area to prep and grill a meal (a few steps beyond the stone bench). The “floor” is a mosaic of the relic I-beams, recycled granite cobblestones, Sydney Peak flagstone, CalArc narrow pavers and gravel.

Close up of the “flooring” mosaic.

Can you spot the hot tub tucked into the landscape?

Set on an old foundation, hung out over the edge of the cliff, the hot tub nearly disappears in the landscape… and provides the ideal place from which to enjoy the sunset, a glass of wine and the panoramic views at the end of the day.





Sneak peak at our next blog post…

The River at Tanayan – Hidden Gem and 2018 APLD Gold Award Winner…

Ever wonder where the inspiration for a garden comes from? Well, in this case, it came straight from our client. “I’d like a creek”, he said at our first meeting. “A real one… like Rattlesnake Canyon.” “And a dam,” he continued, “A real one… that you can walk across. Like the dam at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. You know, the old one… the one built by the padres.” Thus began a delightful and epic collaboration with our new client. The result: The River at Tanayan.


Tune into our next post to see the results…

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2 thoughts on “More Gold!
This Award-Winning Garden is a Cliff-Hanger!

  1. Margie, we love your gardens–especially the flower garden you did for me in Santa Barbara. I continue to smell the roses and enjoy every flower. We would love your blog but the faint print on a white background is extremely difficult to read and enjoy. You have always been one to rise above trends and originate your own style. It seems to be trendy, today, to favor tiny, faint print in stylish online blogs and in advertising, as if challenging readers to discover what has been written. Your words and ideas are so amazingly clever and witty that they deserve to be savored and appreciated. Please consider using a darker print. With love and appreciation, Mary Ellen Guffey

  2. Very beautifully done. The garden/landscape seems to fit harmoniously with the house and the surrounding countryside and brings considerable liveability to the grounds. Would have liked to see a photo taken from the cliff base looking up toward the garden and house.

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