California Landscape Design – Mediterranean Lifestyle on the Pacific West Coast

The Father of California Landscape Designs

Today’s elaborate and stylish high-end landscape designs first appeared in affluent areas of Southern California at the beginning of the 1930’s. An educated landscape architect with experience in the popular garden styles of Europe in this era, Thomas Church, began a landscape design firm in downtown San Francisco and quickly became a household name in Southern California outdoor planning.

During his 45 year career in California landscape design, Church created more than 2,000 custom garden designs in some of the most prosperous areas and developments of Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside, all during the prime of modern architectural development. These functional, yet beautiful, outdoor living spaces resulted in a trend that is still growing in popularity across the nation of extending the living space of a home into the openness of nature.

The Many Faces of this Unique Design Style

The homes of Southern California are some of the most remarkable structures in the world and represent a variety of unique architectural styles. California landscape designs complement these fine homes with carefully selected plants, materials, and accessories to create a central theme that blends outdoor charm with sophisticated style for a magnificent outdoor living area.

While most of the various landscape designs seen across Southern California possess a rustic, Old World appearance, there are also classy, formal garden styles that reflect a more contemporary atmosphere. The influence of the European Mediterranean can also be seen in many California garden styles.

With so many different garden styles and influences seen in the landscape designs of of this area, there is one common thread among them all. Each and every California landscape design is carefully planned to reflect the relaxed, natural lifestyle of the warm Mediterranean coast while complementing the style of the most lavish homes.

These Mediterranean styled designs are simple, but sophisticated, functional, as well as ornate, and these outdoor living spaces are truly designed for outdoor living.

Elements of a California style garden may include:

  • Natural accessories, like unfinished furniture or terra cotta planters
  • Colorful cushions, patio ware, lighting, and flower pots, with bright, vivid colors
  • Simple materials, like bark, gravel, and stone, accent water features and create walkways

Because of the wonderful diversity throughout Southern California, the landscape designs are also unique but they are all carefully planned to make outdoor living at home convenient, relaxing, and a beautiful part of your residence. With so many different garden styles to choose from, it is often best to employ the services of an experienced California landscape design firm.

Landscape Design Ideas From Experts

If you are looking for a landscape designer or garden designer, you should select from experienced designers so that you could expand your horizons. A good landscape design plays an important role in making your surroundings look attractive and this enhances the value of your property.

Always look for professionals for your landscape design. They will provide you 2-3 plans to select from and they should be having the software support to show you dome kind of demo before selecting a particular design. There are a lot variety designs like formal style, informal style, woodland style etc to select from. Selecting a particular design for your landscape depends on what function this landscape design should serve. It can be a new area for sitting or playing or to improve the look and feel of the property.

Always select from simple designs for your home. Some people say simplicity is once of the main aspects of landscape design. This saves your money and easy to maintain once it is done. If you have used contrast elements for your design, it is going to be costly to maintain and redesign.

Before going for a landscaping designer for improving your home you should understand the basics of landscape design. This can save your valuable time and money as well. Also try to watch some landscape designs from around your home before selecting a particular design. Now you can call for any experienced landscape designer asking for some designs and you can choose from some attractive designs from them. Landscape design provides natural beauty and elegance for your whole property and cost for this is less compared to home remodeling or home decorating.

It’s difficult to tell about the fees, as they vary quite a bit depending on your requirements, plot and expertise of the designer, materials used for it etc. It can be thousands of dollars if you are going for a complex design with high quality materials. The overall size of your property is a major factor in deciding the cost of your landscaping. Always look for low cost services when looking for a landscape designer for your property.

Now you can also find our online landscape design services from many companies. They offer wide variety design options of classical and modern styles. They will give you design ideas and planting ideas for your landscape. If you want to see landscapes designed by these online landscapers you can watch them through your computer and if you liked any of the designs from them, you can opt for that one.

You can also make use of design software available online for making attractive landscape design ideas. If you have some expertise internet and computer, then you can go for it. But if you don’t know much about internet better is always look for local landscape designers having some expertise in good landscape designs from near by areas and they will finish you landscape design within days. So call for a landscape designer today and enhance your landscapes.

5 Broad Purposes of Landscape Design

Defining the purpose of landscape design is a redoubtable undertaking, as it requires synthesizing the many explanations of the phrase that seems as vastly different as the number of landscapes. So much so that presenting a summary of outdoor design philosophies becomes a bewildering task. To simplify matters, however, I have placed the different approaches into one of five categories.

At its most basic level, landscape design serves nature. The writings of most landscape designers include concepts related to sustainability, ecology, and natural preservation. This aspect of environmental design is concerned with issues such as insuring proper drainage, preventing soil erosion, creating an outdoor milieu that will last through time — as did the natural setting before man altered it — and more poetically, being “responsive to the nature of the site.”

At a more abstract level, most but not all landscapers talk about bridging the gap between man and nature. Some planting designers employ contrasting language to describe this function. One artisan mentioned combining culture and nature. Another refers to the reconciliation between man and nature. Another designates the purpose of landscape design as blending “manmade buildings into the natural setting.” Another nature artist talks about “blending man’s technology into the natural setting.” An Islamic environmental designer describes the need to maintain “fluidity between internal and external space.” While some outdoor site planners give equal importance to culture and nature, some give more weight to one or the other. On the side of nature, one site designer describes the need to strengthen the client’s “sense of connection to nature.” Another emphasizes the importance of “deepening the connection between people and their land.” On the side of technology, some practitioners see nature as serving man-made structures. From their perspective, landscapers should ensure “a beautiful setting for a building,” “protect the home from the wind,” or in the words of another planner “create a beautiful environment around the building.”

Many environmental engineers emphasize the artistry inherent in their profession. A Harvard trained landscapist calls nature a palate with which she creates her works of art. Reading about what the various practitioners have to say you will find numerous references to “creating beauty.” In practicing their craft, some designers focus more on the beauty in nature and talk about, “evoking the beauty of the natural world.” Others, like the Harvard trained landscapist, focus more on creating a work of art and describe what they do as creating a “manifestation of art that can be lived in and enjoyed.” The two views, however, are not mutually exclusive. An Islamic landscaper revealed that artistry is only one of the means she employs. While using “the principles of art and beauty” in her work, she is first and foremost guided by the religious principles found in the Koran.

Some designers focus extensively on the client’s perspective. They describe this aspect of their work with phrases such as “expressing “the client’s vision,” evoking the beauty of the natural world in ways that are “responsive to the… client,” or considering the landscaping ” needs of the user.” At the same time, many designers emphasize the practical benefits their work bestows upon clients. These boons include “providing the necessities of modern living;” providing “comfortable seating, scenic and seasonable variety, practical areas for family leisure, child play, entertainment, play space;” “shaping the land for people to use and enjoy;” “giving occupants a healthy breath;” and “creating an inviting and soothing atmosphere.” A few landscape designers, such as Michelle Derviss, focus on the importance of evoking a strong emotional response in visitors to their sites. In designing her projects, she wants to engage “all the senses and creating an emotional response within the garden setting.” Her goal is to “inspire the heart, imbue the senses, and inspire the eye of the beholder.”

Finally, some landscapers, such as the Islamic designer Emma Clark, see landscape design as transcending all of the fore mentioned considerations and serving a religious purpose. She uses Islamic teachings to bring out the “spirit of the place.” However, she emphasizes that her goal is to bring out a spirituality that is innately present in the spot, a landscape that is “totally at home in its environment.” In like manner some site engineers create gardens that serve as sanctuaries or places of meditation and contemplation. In this regard they offer a retreat into nature such as Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about in “Walden.” But perhaps they have progressed beyond the man machinery conflict found in Walden in that their intelligent retreats are engineered by the landscape designer to provide sanctuary within the context of modern living.