When looking at what makes leaders great in history, there are typically two general achievements that put them on the list for greatness. In the first case, a good leader can build something great or powerful from nothing, leading their people in building a great nation or country out of nearly whole cloth. In the latter, the leader acts as a great restorer, rebuilding their country after a time of decline or great misfortune.
In the same vein, homeowners can fill the same role for their own little kingdoms. Many lionize the people who build their homes with their own two hands – but those who act to revitalize their home, to bring it back from something decrepit to something beautiful can play just as great a role as the original builder.
This home in La Jolla serves as a prime example. After decades of neglect left its yard overgrown with weeds and wild flora, the owners (with the help of Torrey Pines Landscape) have painstakingly restored the landscapes back to a simple and beautiful state where old growth is enhanced by new additions.
The first step in the revitalizing process was determining what needed to be removed vs. what could be salvaged – while the garden was overgrown, there were trees and shrubbery that had been there since the house was originally constructed. These larger plants made up the periphery of the yard, and the decision was made to use them as a starting point and rebuild the rest of the yard to accentuate their presence.
The old lawn, so overgrown with weeds, was dug up and replaced with a fresh layer of natural turf. The new, healthy grass is interspersed with granite flagstones that provide walking paths between newly laid out porches made of the same light speckled granite.
The granite provides a uniting theme between different elements of the yard, as the same stone that makes up the walkable hardscape is used in the construction of a new dry stream bed that borders the lawn area. These stream beds provide a transition from the lawn to the perimeter planters that house the old trees and shrubbery, as well as some newer additions.
The perimeter planters, once crowded and undifferentiated, are now carefully cultivated with lilies and waxy broadleafs to provide a tapestry of contrasting colors and textures. Where you don’t see new plants, you’ll find boulders providing both an interesting visual breakup as well as a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the shade on a lazy afternoon.
New residents of the home have also appeared: statuettes stand at attention, ready to greet visitors as they escape the stuffy indoors and find refuge in the backyard. As the sun sets, standing lights provide a gentle glow so visitors to the new garden can safely traipse from the main porch to the side of the yard.
Though the current home owners may not have built it themselves, they’ve done great work revitalizing the space in a way that uniquely mirrors their personality and vision. Torrey Pines Landscape provides homeowners across San Diego County the means to realize their own revitalization projects and make a permanent mark on a home, bringing it back from the cusp of ruin to a brighter tomorrow.