Tag Archives: hardscape

Dwell on Design – LA Convention Center – Saturday (6-22) 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.


8B6EB5BCFB0B77072AEDC6CE2AAD060F_9124973This Saturday, I’ll be at the LA Convention Center offering free consultations on Landscape Design from 1:00- 3:00 p.m. This gathering is sponsored by APLD’s Focus on Design and the magazine Dwell.

So come on down and introduce yourself and learn how you can improve you landscape, garden and home from advice given by one of the five Best Landscape Designers in Los Angeles.


Best Landscape Designers in Los Angeles


I was both stunned and thrilled when I was notified that CBS Los Angeles, as part of their Latest Best of LA series, had chosen me and my company as one of five Best Landscape Designers in LA.

It may not be an Emmy or an Oscar but it is nice to be recognized for what you love to do! So, if you’ll allow me this moment in the sun—because that’s it … that’s all you get—I’ll be back down in the dirt tomorrow.

The following is part of the article, if you’d like to read it in its entirety, click here.

Best Landscape Designers in LA – June 15, 2013

A recent survey sponsored by a national landscaping trade association known as PLANET revealed a rising trend among consumers increasing their investments on outdoor living spaces, including patios, decks, walkways and other specialized services such as lighting and irrigation systems

Surprisingly, it’s mostly digitally-connected homeworkers under the age of 35 who are placing priority on outdoor entertainment areas. Most Los Angeles homeowners hire a professional landscaper because they either don’t have proper landscaping equipment or because they simply lack the know-how to do their own landscaping. Luckily, some of the best landscapers are based in Los Angeles.

Garden of Eva Landscape Design Group

Garden of Eva Landscape Design

Described as the Julia Child of Los Angeles landscape design, Eva Knoppel and the Garden of Eva Landscape Design Group comes highly recommended for her experience, integrity and Eco-friendly, low-maintenance gardens.

This full-service landscaping design and maintenance company has built more than 100 gardens in both commercial and residential areas. Knoppel is most known for her work creating a “garden in the sky” at LA’s Perch rooftop bar and lounge.

Related: Building A Garden In The Sky.



Sunset Plaza Makeover – Completed


In August’s “Notes & News,” I introduced you to a “A Sunset Plaza Makeover,” the landscape I was designing and building for an international film produce and his family. In November, I followed up by showing you what was involved in creating the garden’s “Wall of Water.” And now, after eight months, the planning and designing has come to an end, the construction is over (and aren’t my clients thrilled), all the trees, hedges and plant material have been installed and the cushions, pillows and other accessories are exactly where they should be.


As the following photographs will show (all by Luke Gibson of Luke Gibson Photography), this has been an extraordinary project. Defined by a series of descending terraces, my client’s new backyard includes a large living area and fire place, a dining area and outdoor kitchen, our famous wall of water, as well as a pool and spa and a charming entertainment room adjacent to the pool.

It has also been a wonderful experience – my clients have been terrific to work for and with – and the result, a collaboration of intent and execution, will provide them, their family and friends with a beautiful and livable landscape for years to come. As a landscape designer, this is as close as I come to perfection.

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News


Landscape Design – Building A Wall Of Water


In August’s “Notes & News,” I introduced you to a “A Sunset Plaza Makeover,” the landscape I was designing for an international film producer and his family. The construction has been completed, the planting is coming to an end and the D.D. Blanchard Magnolias I featured in that newsletter are doing brilliantly.This has been an extraordinary project, which I am thrilled to have been able to design and build.

Defined by a series of descending terraces, my client’s new backyard includes a large living area and fire place, a dining area and outdoor kitchen, a pool and spa and a charming entertainment room adjacent to the pool. It also has a wall of water, as I call it, the design and construction of which I thought you might find interesting.

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News


A Sunset Plaza Makeover


Once Upon A Time …

High in the Hollywood Hills, above Sunset Plaza, an international film producer and his family had grown tired of the mundane landscaping surrounding their home and decided it was time to produce a “Makeover.” So the film producer Googled “Los Angeles Landscape Designer” and, lo and behold, up popped my website. Well, he loved what he saw and gave me a call. We met and we chatted and chatted and chatted some more and I came up with a plan and … so it began.

And we began by ripping out the back yard, but for the swimming pool, and creating a series of descending concrete terraces. When completed, these terraces will include a wall of water, a fire place, a seating area, a barbecue pit and it will all be surrounded by a number of full grown trees that frame and enclose the property.

Over the years, I’ve often been asked what it takes to bring full-grown trees onto a property, and as this makeover provides a “teachable moment”, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to show you exactly what’s involved. And what’s involved is neither easy nor inexpensive!

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News


The Monthly Gardener – July – Sit Back & Enjoy


While Spring and Fall are the ideal times for planting, July is the perfect month to enjoy all the work you did in landscaping your garden. So why not fire up the grill and have a barbeque, or a pool party or just sit back and enjoy the cool of California’s glorious summer evenings with a few friends, a few cocktails and some good conversation.

However, if you still feel the urge to garden, there are some plants that can tolerate being planted in the heat of the summer, such as cacti, succulents, tropicals, hibiscus and summer annuals. Just do your planting in the early morning or late afternoon and make sure that everything is thoroughly and deeply watered. But your main focus this month should be on maintenance and watering.

I’m only going to touch on watering in this blog post because July’s newsletter will be all about watering and how to save both it and your money and how your environmentally smart watering choices can positively impact our environment. If you’d like to know about saving water, you can also check a previous post of mine, “5 Ways To Save Water.”

So … what’s up for July?

  • Watering: sprinklers should be set to run between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m to deep water lawns (approximately 20 minutes every three day) – use drip irrigation or soaker hoses for flowers and vegetable gardens – mature tress should be watered deeply but infrequently;
  • Fertilize:  roses, fuchsias, tuberous begonias, water lilies, corn, cymbidiums, camellias, azaleas, impatiens, ferns, warm and cool-season lawns, tropicals, cacti and euphorbias growing in the ground
  • Trim. Deadhead & Prune: chrysanthemums, roses, flowers, impatiens, hydrangeas, hibiscus, English primroses, succulents daylilies, Martha Washington geraniums
  • Pests & Diseases: as new growth and buds appear, so do an assortment of pests and diseases. You need to be diligent in checking all of your plants – both sides of the leaves – for white fly and thrips and check to see if slugs or snails are present. If a plant is infected, I suggest looking up the plant on the Internet to see what the infection might be and how to handle it.  There are any number of remedies on the market but the choice all depends on the plant, the infection and your particular needs.

If you’d like to learn more about what to do in the garden in July, check out Pat Welsh’s “Southern California Gardening – A Month-by-Month Guide, or Google, “Southern California Gardening June.”


Landscape Design – Water Features – Beauty, Tranquility & Value


Whether it’s a swimming pool, a pond, a waterfall or stream, a fountain or a combination of any of these, water – either still or flowing – adds something totally unique to a landscape – even if that landscape is only a balcony

The Magic of Water

I was reminded of this when my crew recently finished building a waterfall/stream that I had designed to fit into a corner of a piece of property that sat on a hillside. Because of the location, this was not an easy birth and it took a lot of work to shoehorn this feature into place. But when the water was tuned on and it began flowing down the rocks, filling the small pool at the bottom, it was transformational!

The sound of the water cascading over the rocks and the sunlight reflecting off the stream gave a whole new dimension to what, as you see in these pictures, was not an ideal location.

Of course, water features come in every size and description and price. What’s most important in considering what feature or features might be appropriate, other than, of course, price, is how it relates to your current landscape and home, your family and your lifestyle.

Here are three very different examples of water features and hardscape that I designed and built based on:

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News


5 Tips For Designing Your Landscape


If you’ve been thinking about re-doing your back yard, front yard or the whole nine yards, now is a good time to begin formulating a plan. So here are 5 tips to consider.  I’ll be along with an additional 5 tips next month

1. Plan What You’re Going To Do

Planning is paramount when you’re designing a garden or landscape. I know how much fun it is to walk around a nursery or garden store and pick out plants, but before you ever set foot in one, you need to have a clear idea of what it is your doing. Here are some things to consider:

  • play areas for your children
  • space for pets
  • seating and/or dining areas
  • water features (pools,fountain, streams)
  • hardscape: walkways, paths, structures, power lines
  • update or expand sprinkler system
  • outdoor lighting
  • equipment storage
  • unsightly air conditioner units and service building
  • the amount of sun or shade your garden experiences

How are you going to handle each one of these?

2. Research

The best way to learn  how to make it happen is to see how others have creatively dealt with similar situations.

  • Get a selection of landscaping, home or gardening magazines and cut out pictures of what you like.
  • Go to the library and look through landscaping design books and photograph the pictures you like (use that camera-phone creatively).
  • Drive through neighborhoods and take photographs of yards you like, or a particular way an area has been designed.
  • Buy gardening books and read the chapters on what concerns you.

3. Continuity Of Design

The landscaping of  your home does not exist in a vacuum, it should be the exterior  extension of your home. The landscaping designs that are most successful are those that effectively blend the materials, styles and colors of your home with the out-of-doors. Therefore a successful design is not just about the selection of plants and their placement and the purchase of patio furniture, it should incorporate paths, driveways, walkways, walls, columns and, of course, the view.

4. Scale

The size of one object in relations to another is what scape is all about. I often see property owners that are afraid of selecting accents like bird baths, sculptures and garden statues that are relative in size to the size of the yard. Typically, most homeowners select a smaller size than what is actually needed. Remember, the scale of an object or objects should be relative in size to the objects around them.

5. Plant Selection

This is the very heart of good landscape design because if the plants you select don’t survive and flourish,  not only have you wasted a great deal of time and effort, you have also wasted a good deal of money. Therefore, before deciding on whether to plant roses or gardenias, you need to be clear about a number of things:

  • how much sun does your property get
  • what kind of tress are on your property
  • what is the PH balance of the soil
  • do you have tillable soil or is there too much clay or sand (see my newsletter, Soil Isn’t Sexy But It Is Essential.

All of these elements need to be evaluated in order to determine the kind of plant material that is appropriate for your environment. Once you have all this information at hand you can begin the process of designing your garden.

Need Help?

Should you want help in this process, in addition to designing landscapes I also consult with those folks to want to do it themselves.  If you’re interested in setting up a consultation, email me or give me a call at 323-788-3831.


Does Landscaping Add Value To Your Home?


This is the one question that I am forever being asked by both my current clients, whenever they’re considering a make over, as well as prospective ones, who have just bought a house and want to re-landscape or have children or a dog and need to reconsider their environment.

It’s also a very valid question because landscaping can be a substantial investment and it makes financial sense to know if that investment may pay off in the event the home is ever put on the market.

I recently read an interesting article at Buzzle.com that examines these considerations so I thought I would share their POV with you. What follows is a truncated and personalized version of that article.  For the complete version please check out their website above.

What the Experts Say

According to Buzzle’s experts, a well-maintained landscape in the front and backyard will add 15% to the selling price. Also, well-landscaped homes sell 5 times faster than any other home.

To continue reading … Eva’s Note & News


Hardscape Your Landscape – Say What?


It’s summer and it’s time to move outdoors and enjoy our fabulous California weather.  But unless you have a patio, or a terrace, a pergola, gazebo or some other form of “hardscape” the best you will be able to do is to sit in a ch air in the grass and watch Rover bound across the grass.

“Hardscape” as it is defined in the dictionary is, “the nonliving or man-made fixtures of a planned outdoor area” and because I’ve been asked by a number of people how one goes about hardscaping a landscape …

Continue Reading “Eva’s Notes & News“.