9.17.2015

Hillside Landscape in Rocky Los Angeles Canyon


Situated in the foothill community of Tujunga, high above Los Angeles, this lush garden reflects a long range plan utilizing local materials and drought tolerant plants. Originally this south facing yard was inaccessible from the house which stands nearly a full story above the sloping back yard.




What you will see here was hand crafted by the homeowner, Steve, who terraced the stoney south facing mountain lot to create small planting areas.  Connecting these areas, he built steps, bridges and winding pathways lined in local granite boulders. Verdant planters created by mounding mulch into free form rock lined beds provide Steve with rich soil where he grows vegetables and ornamental annuals. Fruit trees provide shade and height for the terraces.


From above, a deck and stairway down to the back yard patio and now provide access to the landscape below. In the lower basement, there are now rooms adjacent to the ground level patio which is shaded by triangular awnings stretched out over that area.

These photos were taken at a recent visit late in the day as dusk settled on the garden lit with lanterns and torches. I hope you'll find inspiration in how this rocky dry scape has been transformed.



The garden pathways meander along the terraces, lined by larger boulders that hold back the mulch filled planters.



A closer look shows how the raised beds are built and shaped to hold the mounds of mulch. Soaker hoses provide necessary water.



Three of the foot bridges over a dry creek bed used to divert rain water runoff down the property, and also to provide a great landscape detail. Each bridge has its own character, making for wonderful discovery moments in the garden.



Hardscape steps are also integrated into the pathways as the garden changes in terrace levels.



A firepit is located in the final and lowest terrace, making for a fun discovery after taking a walk down the pathways from the house. This is created from reclaimed concrete pieces, carefully set into a level circle.



As evening settles over the garden, torches, lanterns and lights come out to light the way along the pathways. It's a magical setting that lasts well into the night.

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