A blank slate is actually better for me as the designer because I don’t have to deal with a lot of existing and unwanted hardscape and/or plant material. With the removal of the palm trees and few other plants, we were ready to proceed with creating what my clients’ desired.
And what they had requested was an environment that was suitable for a great deal of entertaining as well as a place for them, their dog and their anticipated family to grow up in and enjoy. It also needed to be easy to maintain and be as drought-tolerant as possible.
There were two elements that were essential for the design. The first was an outdoor kitchen with a lot of counter space, a barbecue and stove, a pizza oven, a sink with running water, a counter to sit at and a roof that cantilevered out over the seating area, which was to match the existing, but refinished, wooden deck.
The second required ingredient was a fire pit surrounded by a large seating area.
The Fire Pit
Between the fire pit and the kitchen lay the existing deck. I used it as the axis of these two elements with the pool creating the third aspect of a triangle that visually tied all three elements together.
The Pool and The Deck
By creating a clearly defined entertainment area, it left the remaining yard to be landscaped as a separate entity.
Keeping in mind the desire to create a drought-tolerant landscape, the remaining yard was divided into a small area of grass (for the dog and the children-to-be) with the remaining property covered with pea gravel.
To help define the area, serve as backdrop for the entertainment area and provide a view from inside the house, three full-grown olive trees were craned in and planted.
Illumination and Irrigation
Additional seating was provided at various spots along the graveled area and the trees and property were illuminated with low voltage lamps and spot lights. A drip irrigation system was installed through out.
The Pizza Oven
While the re-designed landscape has received high marks from both friends and neighbors, the one thing the husband loves above all else is his pizza oven, which, I am told, is in continual use!