A Natural Landscaping Facelift In The La Jolla Canyons
One of the primary contributors to the aesthetics of a manmade landscape and buildings is the counterbalance of nature and artifice, or how well the object blends into its surrounding environment. Many modern styles of both landscaping and architecture proudly up the ante on the artificial, creating lush jungle settings in parched deserts or sharp, angular architectural lines over a gently sloping mountain stream.
Creating these artificial landscapes and buildings is resource intensive, however. For some, maintaining harmony with the surrounding environment is infinitely more appealing to the senses than crafting an ostentatious fabrication made to stick out. That was the idea of the owner of this La Jolla canyonside property, who desperately needed an updated exterior that could showcase and blend with the surrounding area’s natural beauty.
The challenge was the property’s location – bordered by a canyon on one side and connected on the other to a cul de sac, the boundaries of the property expanded like a funnel or fan. The designers would need to simultaneously create curb appeal while keeping with the natural shape and look of the canyonside the home was located on. To help meet the challenge, the homeowner called one of the few landscapers in the county who were known to take up these kinds of more demanding projects – Torrey Pines Landscape Company.
Thanks to the property’s unique shape, the front of the property would primarily consist of a hardscape driveway liberally sprinkled with floral details. The old driveway made up of dated colored concrete was removed in favor of panels of light sandstone-colored concrete banded with darker-colored concrete. The shape of the drive was reconfigured to create soft bends as it leads towards the entryway to create a less rigid aesthetic and better accentuate the natural landscaping.
A planter featuring smooth, Mexican pebbles and river stones was added to border the actual home itself, peppered with native shrubbery, stubby palms, snake plants, and two prominently featured 15-foot tall Euphorbia ingens. This species of cacti would feature prominently throughout the property, taking the place of trees outside of the entryway.
The entryway was designed to frame the beautiful mahogany front door, with the left side featuring a spindly, broad-leafed tree bordered by natural boulders providing ample shade and a small stone bench. The right side was decorated with a selection of stubby palms to create a juxtaposition in height, which gives the property a welcoming illusion of depth that would otherwise be lacking thanks to its shape.
Around the side and back of the property, a dirt path was created to follow the gentle slope downwards towards a central veranda from which you could look down into the canyon. A retaining wall made of dark natural stone held back a large central slope made up of vibrant green chaparral, succulents, and agave, all of which are plants you can find growing in the hills and canyons surrounding the property.
The veranda itself was constructed using flagstones of a gentle sandstone, supported by a driftwood bordering wall. More Mexican fence post cacti stood guard over the platform, providing some well-needed shade during the hot summer months when the homeowner and guests could enjoy the view as the sun dips below the horizon of the far-off pacific.
With that, the project was completed. If viewed from across the canyon, the only way an observer could tell the property was there at all was the buildings that made up the home itself, while the illusion of depth created at the front of the home beckoned visitors to come on in.
If you have a property whose location or design provides a landscaping challenge, get in contact with Torrey Pines Landscape Company today. The company’s specialty is taking on the toughest challenges and creating beautiful, creative designs that conform to the owner’s tastes and specifications!