Tag Archives: outdoor lighting

A Landscape To Grow With

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Firepit-Kitchen-Pizza-OvenAs you can see from the “Before” picture below, the landscaping of this home’s back yard was, except for the pool, water feature and deck, non-existent!

Before

before

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.

The Kitchen

kitchen

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

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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

deck-pool

By creating a clearly defined entertainment area, it left the remaining yard to be landscaped as a separate entity.

The Landscape

landscape

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

landscape-lights

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

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!

Backyard Magic – Creating Cozy Comfort

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cashmere-before

Project Objective

The objective of this landscape design project was to take a small, unattractive 50s backyard and make it more attractive and functional. This included updating it to the 21st century with a living area, dining area and barbecue, but also using scale and imagination to make it appear larger than it actually is.

Cashmere-1

Work Done

We began expanding the existing space by altering the shape of the low brick wall to provide more space and to raise it to chair height, providing additional seating. Old trees and unattractive shrubs were removed and replaced with plant material that reflected the color scheme (selected to accent the gray house) of white, green and burgundy.

Cashmere-3

The water feature was enlarged with more stone to give a more natural look and enhanced with a larger pump to increase its water flow. The plants surrounding it were replaced with ones that helped focus the eye and make it appear natural to the site.

A retaining wall was installed to account for difference in elevation between the neighbors’ property and my client’s and the dilapidated wooden fence was replaced with tongue and grove fencing, painted to match the house.

To continue reading … Eva’s Notes & News

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

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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

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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.

 

Six Tips on How to Choose Solar Landscape Lighting

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images-1As the weather warms and we begin to spend more time outside, the question of how best to light the outdoors in order to enjoy the evenings comes up. If your yard is already brilliantly illuminated, skip this blog, but if it isn’t or if it could be substantially improved, you might want to read on.

There are countless ways to illuminate the night, but one you should consider that might save you a good deal of money is solar landscape lighting. There is an excellent website that deals with this issues, Your Solar LInk Blog which I suggest you take a look at because it offers a great deal of information about all aspects of solar energy. The following is based on the information provided in that website.

The Solar Challenge

It can be a challenging and at the same time a fun process when looking into creating outdoor lighting for your home, yard or garden. The fun part of the process is that you are in control of creating a unique outdoor environment, inspired by your own imagination. You can create a comforting, welcoming mood with unique and eye-catching outdoor lighting.

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However two challenges come to mind – finding a good bargain on the lights themselves, and the cost of hiring a licensed electrician to do the installation.

This is where solar powered outdoor lights step in. Solar lighting has become an increasingly popular alternative to the conventional and costly electric lights that currently illuminate our homes and living spaces.

Solar lights are affordably priced, simple and safe to install yourself (no digging ditches, laying the wire and attaching it to a junction box), and solar lights can be relocated easily, and above all else, you also save on electricity costs.

Solar lights use photovoltaic cells that absorb sunlight during the day and turn it into energy. Rechargeable batteries store the energy, making it available at night when it is needed. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, which require little power and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, provide the illumination. There is no wiring necessary to connect the lights to each other or to the electric grid.

images-2Until recently, most solar lights emitted only muted light and were not all that reliable. With the latest developments in the solar lighting industry, this has changed and super-bright LEDs have replaced more conventional filament bulbs.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) create light without producing the waste heat of regular bulbs, are very bright, and yet require a minimal amount of electricity to function. The result is a reliable, long-lasting light source that will typically work for the life of the solar light product.

When shopping for solar lights, it’s important to match the light to the function you want it to perform.

Six Tips on How to Choose Solar Landscape Lighting

Tip 1.
Decide if you need decorative accent, path or task solar lights.

Tip 2.
Find out whether the battery needs full sunlight to charge. Some lights charge with partial sun and work great under trees or in areas with low sunlight. This type of solar light can also be charged on a cloudy day.

Tip 3.
Consider the operating time. Usually solar lights perform year round and even charge the battery to provide operation during long winter nights. Some solar lights shine for several days before needing to recharge.

Tip 4.
Check the type of light bulb the solar light uses. LED lights offer the brightest and most efficient light when it comes to efficiency, size, price and energy usage. Some accent solar lights use amber LED lights to create a softer glow.

Tip 5.
Compare extra items like timers or an on-off switch to the cost. Colored lenses change the look of the solar lights without compromising the brightness. Some solar lights mount to your house, hang from trees or can be mounted to your patio rail.

Tip 6.
Match the lighting to your landscape theme. Decorative solar lights (figurines) can create an interesting theme for a landscape or lawn, or while positioned next to shrubbery trimmed to your taste. Country style solar lanterns will add that special countryside charm to your garden. Hanging Japanese Soji lanterns on your trees or patio will bring an Asian flare to your outdoors. Modern stainless steel solar accent lights complement contemporary landscapes. An ultra bright stainless steel solar light will be a great choice to light up your flag pole.

 

Sunset Plaza Makeover – Completed

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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.

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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

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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

Does Landscaping Add Value To Your Home?

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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

Landscape Lighting – Illuminate The Night

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As beautiful as your home and garden may be during the day, at night it can be transformed into a magical wonderland – if properly illuminated. But beauty is only one reason why you should light up the night.

Why should you install landscape lights?

Safety – Avoid tripping on steps, pathways and decks.

Security – Deter unwanted guests (persons and animals) from your property.

Utility – Use your outdoor living space after the sun goes down.

Beauty – Make your home and garden dramatic and beautiful at night.

Continue reading . . .  Eva’s Notes & News