Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Torrey Pines Landscape Company
As featured in Ranch & Coast Magazine ( design by )

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fountains...a.k.a. Water-Features

The sparkle of water dancing on air, the soothing sounds of a splashing fountain, the delicate petals of a water lily - all these and more are reasons to add water to your landscape. A water-feature can be simple or elaborate, formal or natural, pre fabricated or custom, a bold centerpiece or a background element. Whatever your desires are, Torrey Pines Landscape Company of San Diego can help bring your dream to a reality.

Helpful Questions:

-What size?

First, check out your garden site.
A large water feature with a spectacular waterfall will overwhelm a small lot. If you have a lot of space, a tiny feature would get lost in the expansive space. If you are planning anything more elaborate than a pre-cast fountain, you'll need to check with the city or county offices or your HOA for any ordinances that apply. Set backs from the property lines, required fencing (depending on water depth) and guidelines for size, height and lighting are all things we research before design and installation. All of our plumbing and electrical work meet required codes.

Formal or Informal?

Ask yourself these questions:
Do I like straight lines and symmetry?
Do I thrive in order?
Is my home interior formal?
Do I find some informal gardens 'chaotic' or 'messy'?

What's my Budget?

We have a great deal of experience in giving you a general idea of cost. If you show us some photos of water-features that you like, we can give you a rough idea of how much you're looking at investing. One of our favorite shops for precast fountains in San Diego is the jewel of a shop 'Column One', in Hillcrest. If you opt for a custom feature that we build, we'll give you a detailed price point along with the design. Don't forget to calculate maintenance cost, too.

Which Features?

Do you want sounds, sights, movement, lighting? Above ground or In-ground?
Textures, Colors and Materials? We've used tiles, natural stone, brick, boulders and stucco & concrete.
Would you like an eco-system that could sustain fish and water plants?
If you're leaning torward a fountain, do you prefer wall, freestanding or statuary?
Positioning reflects purpose. One of the things to consider when postioning your water feature is how you'll use it. It should always work integrally into the landscape.
Plants - Planning is the's important to know a plants size at maturity as well as how aggressive it amy be. With that said, there are a variety of textures, shapes, colors and heights that can help add to your water-feature.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Creating an Outdoor Kitchen for the way you work and play.

San Diego county has a climate where outdoor living is possible for most of the year. These days we all want to cook and live outside for the sheer pleasure of it. We've come a long way from the old wooden picnic table and stand alone grill. Our standards and aspirations have grown into a desire for outdoor kitchens and dining areas that match our homes is quality, style, performance, and attractiveness.
Let Torrey Pines Landscape help you make this dream a reality.
We'll give you the support and craftsmanship from the design process through completion.

Who doesn't enjoy an evening spent surrounded by family and friends sipping drinks and grilling outside?
Torrey Pines Landscape Company has been building a lot of outdoor kitchens that combine: entertainment bars, eating area counters, BBQ, refridgerator and storage drawers. Also some of our clients have asked us to incorporate charcoal and wood burning grills, pizza ovens, rotisseries, smokers and outdoor sinks. All of these elements just add to the fun of spending outdoor time with family and friends.
One thing that really separates our custom crafted designs from the store bought pre-fabricated variety is....Quality. All of our work are cast in place steel reinforced concrete structures. We do not use pre-fabricated aluminum, galvinized studs or pressed board because these materials are too light weight and will begin to crack and come apart as the years roll on. So, if you are interested in quality and are planning to enjoy your investment for more than a few years, it will pay to spend a little more up front rather than having to replace pre-fab garden features again later.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Outdoor fireplaces and firepits

'The most tangible of all visible mysteries.'
Leigh Hunt

Outdoor Fireplaces and Firepits

How fortunate are we to live in San Diego with a year round outdoor climate? We can build great outdoor rooms and entertaining areas within our gardens that allow us to get the maximium use of our personal spaces. What we find about outdoor fireplaces is that they have a tendency to extend the use of these outdoor living spaces into the cooler months. With a nice big open hearth fire roaring, we are invited outside into a campfire like experience even in the middle of our mild winter. Fire features can really vary in price and style. We can build somethig as simple as a free standing fire pit to a pretty elaborate fire and water feature.

Don't shy away from a single large dramatic statement. One big element, such as an outdoor fireplace can create a focal point for a garden area, drawing attention and prompting people to gather there.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Outdoor Patio Design: Brick - Stone - Tile - Concrete

Outdoor Patio Design: Brick - Stone - Tile - Concrete: "Patios of Brick, Stone, Tile or Concrete

Patios, walks, driveways, pool decking and all hard surfaces in the landscape are what we in the trade call 'Hardscape'. There is a definite balance between the hard and soft of a garden for it to be both pleasing and useful. For example, if your garden were all concrete paving it would seem sterile and industrial. It would be unbearable hot in the summer; and throught the year , it be boring and univiting. The opposite scenario, a patio area that is too small, creates problems too: the outdoor furniture doesn't fit and guests are stepping into the flower beds or huddled together when you are entertaining. So this balance is something that we really give careful consideration.

Another factor is deciding what fixed elements are going to be incorporated into the design. If you want a fireplace, an outdoor BBQ, an arbored dining space, and meditation area with a water feature, then the hardscape has to become the thread that ties all these elements together in a seamless and creative manner.

Once we have determined the overall shape and flow of the hardscape, it's time to determine the finishes. There are basically two catagories: monolithic materials and veneer materials. The monolithic materials are the one step processes such as poured in place concrete or interlocking pavers. There are some 30 different colors for concrete and some really nice rustic looking pavers now available. We can also do an interesting matte sandblast finsh with diamond cut tile patterns in color concrete. These monolithic one step types of paving are the least expensive."

Happy April Fool's Day...

'A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.' -Douglas Adams

Spring has sprung....get out there and enjoy the beauty in your own garden!