Torrey Pines Landscape Company

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's pick for Garden-Art Craft Classes in January

Mosaic in the Garden

Dates: January 5 & 12, 2012, Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30
Cost for Two Sessions: $25- Members, $35- Non-members
Minimum number: 10 registered and paid by December 29, 2011

In this two-part workshop, students will learn the basics of mosaic while creating a work of art to be displayed in their garden. Students will need to bring a hammer, an object to mosaic such as a box, plate, tabletop, vase, flowerpot, or other item of their choice. Objects should be made of terracotta, glass, metal, ceramic, cement or wood in order to provide a firm foundation. Students also need to bring tiles or dishes to break in class. During the first meeting, students will break the tiles or dishes, design their mosaic, and apply broken pieces of tiles or dishes. During the second meeting, students will apply grout to their designed mosaic. Tiles can be obtained at tile stores (ask for broken ones) and dishes at thrift stores.
Instructor: Lauren Becker Downey, Artist, Bravo School of Art, 619-223-0058.

All classes are held in Room 104, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego. Call the Floral Association office at 619-232-5762 or go to to register.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's blooming this month by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

As far as vines go: Pyrostegia venusta , commonly known as the Flame Vine, is currently 'ablaze' with blossoms. This native to South America, is quite impressive with its clusters of orange 3 inch tubular flowers at the ends of many of its branches.

A tried and true favorite: Camellias
Camellia japonica. have been in the US since their introduction in the 19th century.  They offer a wide variety of shrub sizes, bloom color and petal configuration.
Camellia sasanqua blooms are usually smaller and not as long lasting, but they can take more sun and the blossoms are more resistant to blossom blight. Camellia petal blight, caused by the fungus Ciborinia camellia, causes blossoms to rot. Our crews use the good maintenance practices of : picking & safe disposal of blighted blooms, organic mulching to reduce spore survival, and replacing overhead irrigation with drip system to ensure the healthiest plants for the entire season.

It's also time to finish planting Spring-Blooming Bulbs to ensure a colorful garden in the near future.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Outdoor Lighting by Torrey Pines Landscape Comapny

A well designed landscape lighting plan can create an outdoor environment that can be enjoyed well past sunset.  Since 1983, Torrey Pines Landscape Company has been designing and installing custom landscape illumination systems that bring our clients gardens and outdoor rooms to life at night.  Landscape lighting needs to address the practical aspects like safety, as well as the decorative aspects like creating a focal point as with feature lighting. A common lighting mistake is installing too many bright lights. That can instantly zap the charm out of any garden setting. A few carefully positioned fixtures highlighting select landscape or architectural details can create a beautiful effect while maintaining the intimacy of your outdoor spaces.
See our website service page on lighting for more info.

From the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Company

And speaking of lighting, we would like to thank Aurora for sponsoring our year-end holiday party!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Co. is featured in the SDH&G E-News this month

As featured in this months San Diego Home & Garden E-News 

December is a tricky month for gardeners. For example, watering is complicated as weather is variable — cold some of the month, with an occasional hot spell. During a hot spell, it’s a good idea to turn off automatic sprinkler controllers and use them manually. Buying plants at this time of year can be a puzzle, too. To eliminate surprises, buy plants in bloom.

Camellias are a good winter planting choice. The red-flowering ‘Yultide’ camellia seems to be a favorite among gardeners. Camellia japonica also is beautiful with its large double flower. C. japonica generally blooms later and flowers into early spring (hint: float the blooms in a glass bowl as a table centerpiece). Camellia sasanqua — which bloomed early this year — have a smaller, darker serrated leaf with a smaller, single flower than the traditional camellia japonica. They don’t require as much shade or water as C. japonica.

Morning sun is best for camellias unless you are right on the coast, and then they will take afternoon sun as well. It’s best if the soil for camellias is rich with peat moss, organic compost and clean topsoil in equal parts. A general rule of thumb for these (and all plants) is to trim them and feed them after they quit blooming.

For a beautiful shade border, mix shade-loving camellias with clivia, holly fern and some impatiens.

Don’t forget that December also is a good time to start working on beds for bare-root plants — like roses — that we plant in January. Roses and deciduous fruit trees will be coming soon…

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Color Pick for your landscape by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

Just because we live in San Diego,we are not excluded from watching the seasons change in our gardens.
The Eastern redbud is the largest species of redbud available for landscape use in California. The one pictured here is in the Marston house garden in Balboa Park. This deciduous tree marks the seasonal changes with great color and flair. The spring will bring magenta flowers followed by many heart shaped leaves of an deep red-purple.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Companys Pick for an Event this Weekend

The San Diego Floral Association, Friends of Balboa Park & the Save Our Heritage Organization are teaming together to sponsor a Birthday Celebration in honor of the beloved pioneer horticulturalist Kate Sessions. If you can brave the expected spritz, head down to Balboa Park's Marston House Museum and Gardens this Saturday, November 12th from 11am-2pm for the festivities.
The address is 3525 7th Ave, San Diego CA 92103

Monday, October 31, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Pick for a Fall Water Wise Color Option

Many of our clients have requested a color plant palette for their San Diego gardens that actually reflect the change in seasons. Having beautiful fall color isn't only available for the East Coast. Even with our milder climate, there are many options for seeing the seasons change in your own landscape with brilliant color in the glowing shades autumn. Here are is a suggestion that can bring brilliant fall color into your garden:

Koelreuteria paniculata The Goldenrain tree can take cold, heat, drought and wind. This hardy deciduous tree shows seasonal color- new leaves are purplish maturing to bright green. The showy flower clusters in the summer are yellow and it has gorgeous papery salmon-colored seed pods in the fall.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Maintenance Division wants to Bring your Garden to life

Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc. offers the finest in San Diego's landscape maintenance for many areas of the county including: La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Poway, Coronado, Mission Hills and Solana Beach. We are committed to providing a service that will properly maintain the aesthetics and long term health of your landscapes. Landscaping your home is a major joy as well as an investment; and too many gardens have been destroyed by poor management . Our landscape maintenance crews are continually trained and tested to provide you with skilled and experienced service.

Before starting service, each homeowner has a walk-thru of their property with one of our experienced managers. Managing a landscape takes knowledge, time and skill. We will immediately give you an estimate of the number of hours per week we would need to provide you with the services that you require and an estimate of monthly cost. For every new client, we perform a water-audit when entering a contract. Each contract is a written agreement that clearly defines the services and materials to be supplied and the costs.

We also offer a wide range of additional services like planting seasonal color or creating something special for an upcoming outdoor party. Any additional services, outside the scope of the initial maintenance contract require written client approval prior to starting.
Let us bring your garden up to its full potential.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company - Before and After in Rancho Santa Fe


Our primary focus has been the residential landscape market. We have been designing, building and maintaining San Diego landscapes since 1983 . Every job that we complete isn't necessarily from the ground up. We have worked on re-imagining and renovating existing landscapes. An example of that is a project that we worked on in Rancho Santa Fe's 'The Bridges' community. The owner wanted a more formal feeling to the entry of his home and drive.  We removed the original stacked boulders that created the raised planters and built stone walls instead.  This formalized the entry by bringing the stone of the homes architecture out into the garden. They also helped with controlling erosion and disguising utility boxes as well.
Stay tuned for other before and afters from this project and others.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.

See our Masonry Wall and Garden Planter Service page on our website:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tonight's Lecture recommendation by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

It is last minute, but we didn't want the event to pass without letting you know that tonight at 6:30pm at the Water Conservation Garden in Rancho San Diego, Greg Rubin is putting on a seminar about fire-wise gardening. He'll present the essentials of using native plants, including: plant identification and selection, proper placement and grouping and native plant care.
Be sure to visit the Garden's Firewise exhibit which demonstrates how you can make your home and landscape safer from devastating wild fires.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Picks for Garden Tours this Weekend

There is still time to purchase tickets for the 'Autumn in the Garden Tour' put on by the San Diego Master Gardeners Association. The event, which showcases eight Point Loma homes, will be held on Saturday, October 1rst from 10am to 4pm.
"These gardens will highlight diverse water-wise landscapes and amenities ranging from outdoor kitchens to potagers and orchards. All will feature educational displays on everything from citrus care to composting, birds and butterflies, and growing tomatoes. Notable plants will be identified and labeled. A school garden (with Master Gardener consultants) will also be featured.
The event also will include a marketplace featuring Master Gardener hand-crafted garden art including birdhouses, butterfly water dishes, crystal garden totems and hypertufa pots. Plants, including many of the plants seen in the tour gardens, also will be for sale. Other vendors will be selling a variety of foods and beverages, plants, new gardening books, and other garden related items."
For more info call them at (858) 694-2860 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or visit the website at
 from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Letting Go of the Lawn in La Jolla by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

These La Jolla home owners were ready to make the move and get rid of the expansive water-guzzling lawn in their front yard. We were delighted to help them with the design and installation because we specialize in creating lush landscapes that are water efficient. The final product speaks for itself!

Harry Thompson, the company's owner, created an enchanting space with intertwining flagstone garden paths. The Gaura lindeheimeri, which grows from a deep tap root making it drought tolerant, adds an air of whimsy. While the Anigozanthos or Kangaroo Paw gives the garden a real punch of color. He also re-designed the entry, incorporating a brick walkway that looks as if it has always been there. Now, the homeowner has a true garden that invites her out to enjoy the flowers and the beauty year round while still conserving water.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Tips featured in San Diego Home and Garden EClub

We are pleased to report that our blog on tree care was picked up by San Diego Home and Garden Lifestyle's EClub this month. Visit their website to sign up:
Here is the article.....
Torrey Pines Landscape Company has been planting trees in the San Diego area since 1983. We want to ensure that the trees we plant not only survive, but thrive. Here’s the process we generally follow:

1.Timing. Generally autumn or early spring are ideal. Palms and tropicals are ideally planted in the summer. Deciduous trees plant best when they are dormant in the cooler months.

2.Choose the right tree for the right area. Research with Sunset's Western Garden Book or a landscape design company.

3.Select a healthy specimen. Avoid ones with scarred trunks and broken or cracked limbs.

4.Successful planting relies on digging a hole that is the proper depth (the crown of the root ball should sit an inch above the surrounding ground) and width (2.5 times the width of the root ball).

5.The backfill depends on the type of tree that's planted. An avocado tree does better with only natural backfill whereas a magnolia prefers a blend of soil that was excavated with added amendments.

6.The first year of any transplanted tree’s life is critical. It will need regular slow, deep watering until the roots are established. Use aeration tubes, especially for larger specimens, for deep watering and feeding.

7.Check the warranty and reputation of your tree installer.

8.A wonderful reference book is Ornamental Trees for Mediterranean Climates by Steve Brigham, with photographs by Don Walker.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lecture pick for September in San Diego from Torrey Pines Landscape Company

The San Diego Horticultural Society, whose mission is to "promote the enjoyment, art, knowledge and public awareness of horticulture in the San Diego area, while providing the opportunity for education and research," is hosting a lecture by Tom Spellman, Southwestern States Sales Manager for the Dave Wilson Nursery (the largest growers of deciduous fruit, nut and shade trees in CA) on Backyard Orchard Culture this Monday, Sept 12th 2011,6:00pm in Del Mar.  Tom will discuss how the objective is the prolonged harvest of tree-ripe fruit from your small space. He will discuss: planting, pruning and training techniques, compatible variety selection, espalier fruit trees, hedgerow growing and other space saving techniques. So whether you have a sprawling estate in Rancho Santa Fe or a small space assigned to edibles in La Jolla, this lecture will have something in the way of tips for you.
For more info visit

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co, Inc.

What's still blooming in September by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

As I was trapped in traffic, creeping along the streets yesterday, I actually had the opportunity to notice the riot of yellow blooms still gracing our San Diego landscapes. The cause: the Gold Medallion Tree. A wonderful option for a tropical looking tree without high water usage is the Cassia letophylla, or Gold Medallion Tree. It is related to the Golden Shower tree, Cassia fistula, which you can find in such tropical climates as Hawaii or Thailand, but we have a harder time finding here. The blooms and leaves are shaped differently than its tropical cousin, but the color palette of vibrant greens and yellows is the same. Look for the yellow showy flower clusters all around the county. This semi-evergreen native of Brazil has proven to be well adapted to San Diego's climate and remarkably hardy in both cold and heat. We wouldn't plant in areas that get frost.  Its growth is between 20-30' tall and wide. It does best in full sun, in well drained soil, with support and training when young and requires little water once established.

from the office of
Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Alstroemeria tips by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Alstroemerias, or Peruvian lilies, are members of the lily family that are considerably drought tolerant and whose cut blooms can last up to two weeks. Since they can be tall, they do well in the back of a border planting arrangement. The flowers are available in white, cream, yellow, orange, pink, and red...with or without streaks of a darker color. The foliage is lily-like and the stalks are hearty. There are different hybrids available but we recommend the Meyer hybrid because they bloom longer and can be transplanted, divided and moved with greater success than other hybrids. Along the coast, we can plant them in full sun. Inland planting requires partial shade and using mulch to cool the soil in the summer. No matter where your garden is located, alstroemeris need loose well drained soil, fertilizer and adequate space for their roots to spread. After the flowers have finished blooming, you remove each spent stalk by pulling it individually from the tubers which will stimulate the plant to produce more bloom spikes. The same applies when using the flowers in an arrangement...pull the stems out singly first, then cut them for your vase.
from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Designing a Landscape that Compliments the Stlye of your Home by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Although nothing is set in stone, a successful landscape design, including both soft and hardscape elements, will be aesthetically compatible with the style of your home. Here are some loose historical guidelines for several architectural styles:

Italianate and French - formal and/or bilateral symmetry

Tudor, Cottage or Bungalow - some symmetry, but less formal

Modern - crisp, clean geometric shapes and/or lines

These are merely historical suggestions from which you may start...there are endless hybrids and adaptations.
Remember that a truly successful garden design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also satisfies the needs of those using it.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tree Planting Tips from Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Rancho Santa Fe

We have been planting trees in the San Diego area since 1983 & here are a few tips to ensure that the trees not only survive but thrive.
1. Timing. Generally autumn or early spring are ideal. Palms and tropicals are ideally planted in the summer. Deciduous trees plant best when they are dormant in the cooler months.
2. Choose the right tree for the right area. Research with Sunset's Western Garden Book or a landscape design company.
3. Select a healthy specimen. Avoid ones with scarred trunks and broken or cracked limbs.
4. Successful planting relies on digging a hole that is the proper depth (the crown of the root ball should sit an inch above the surrounding ground) and width (2.5 times the width of the root ball).
5. The back-fill depends on the type of tree that's planted. An avocado tree does better with only natural backfill whereas a magnolia prefers a blend of soil that was excavated with added amendments
6. The first year of any transplanted trees life is critical. It will need regular slow deep watering until the roots are established. Use ariation tubes, especially for larger specimens,  for deep watering and feeding.
7. Check the warranty & reputation of your tree installer
8. A wonderful reference book, or "Owners Manual", is Ornamental Trees for Mediterranean Climates (the trees of San Diego) by Steve Brigham & Don Walker

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's Blooming in August by Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Yucca gloriosa, commonly known as the Spanish Dagger, is blooming 'gloriously' around the county right now. This native of the south eastern United States usually grows to 8-10 ft in height here in San Diego providing it has full sun and well drained soil.  It is perfectly suited, once established, for a water-wise garden. It has pale blue green leaves with soft pointed tips that are less hazardess than some of the other Yucca varities. The bloom stalk rises up from the foliage and has creamy white and fragrant flowers that hang delicately in contrast to the plants spear like foliage. Make sure to prune back the flower stalk once this seasons bloom have faded to encourage new growth and flowering for the upcoming bloom season.
To see some beautiful blooming specimens, visit Balboa Park's Desert Garden located along

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc

Monday, June 27, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape at the CLCA 2011 Beautification Awards

Torrey Pines Landscape Company is a proud member of the CLCA (California Landscape Contractors Association) which is the nation's oldest and largest organization of licensed landscape and irrigation contractors. It is an organization that is dedicated to promoting professionalism, better business practices and conservation.  Every year they hold a Beautification Awards Program which acknowledges excellence in the field and is judged by a panel of  landscape architects and lighting designers. This year there were over 105 entries in the varied categories. The awards ceremony was held at one of our favorite places...the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College this past Friday. The event was well attended and it was great fun to meet with our San Diego colleagues, educators and vendors.
We are pleased to announce that our work at Torrey Pines Landscape Company was selected and honored by the judges this year.
We were the winners of both the following Categories:  Design & Build Construction Estate
& Residential Maintenance Estate. We also received an achievement award for Residential Maintenance.
It's wonderful to be acknowledged, yet our main focus is to continue to bring excellence in service to our existing clients both design & construction as well as maintenance. It's our mission to use our creativity and experience to bring your outdoor retreat to life. We specialize in custom  installations, excelling in projects that require detailed quality craftsmanship.
We also sponsored two awards at this event because we believe in supporting the CLCA because of their continued efforts of our industry to conserve and protect San Diego's resources.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Co. Celebrates the 'Lion's Tail'

We have always said that drought tolerant doesn't have to mean dreary. And a water-savvy trick we recommend for your San Diego water-wise gardening is to make use of the beautiful native plants from other dry regions around the globe. The Leonotis leonurus, or Lionstail, is our featured water-wise flowering perennial shrub for June. This native of South Africa, if grown in well drained soil with full sun, can grow as much as 6 feet high and wide, so place at the rear of flower beds or along fences and walls. The deep orange color of the tubular flowers is only surpassed in attraction by their arrangement on the stems. The tiered flower clusters are reminiscent of a Zeigfield folly production. Proper pruning can encourage blooms that you may enjoy well into the fall.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Top pick for Where to Visit this Weekend

Many of our existing clients are gardeners at heart. We encourage them & you to visit Balboa Park, Room 101 Casa del Prado this Saturday, June 18th from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. The Master Gardeners, are having a plant sale.  They've made it convenient and easy. Park in nearby lots and take a free tram to the sale. There is a plant holding area provided & a drive-up zone for plant pick-up.
What to expect:

1) A wide variety of plants for sale at great prices. Choose from natives, tropicals, staghorn ferns, bromeliads, heirloom and unusual veggies, fruit trees, bulbs, herbs, succulents, annuals and perennials.

2) A 'garden marketplace' section where you can shop for hand-crafted bird houses, protective gauntlets, hypertufa pots, crystal totems, tool sharpeners and more!  FYI: A Hypertufa pot is a planter, made of peat, river sand & cement, that is an attractive alternative to a concrete or stone planter. They are suitable for many types of plants and are particularly good for cacti, sedum, and succulents. They instantly looks aged and have a natural look to compliment plants and shrubs in the garden. Hypertufa pots are very plant friendly—the bulky and porous wall thickness acts as a reservoir for water. Their porousness allows for easy passage of air to the root system.

3) Q&A: Get answers to garden questions from the Master Gardeners.  They are a group of volunteers trained and supervised by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE).  They also have an exhibit at the Del Mar fair on pest control.

Torrey Pines Landscape Company applauds the Master Gardeners and their efforts to continue learning and their ceaseless dedication to help other gardeners grow.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Co. thoughts on Contrast in your Garden

Some of our staff attended a 'Sketching on Location' workshop held in Pasadena this month. One of the design concepts that was discussed was 'Contrast' which occurs when two related elements are different. The greater the difference the greater the contrast. Contrast adds variety to the total design and creates unity. It is what draws the viewer's eye into the sketch and helps to guide the viewer around the art piece.

This same principle applies to landscape design. Contrast in your garden will also add visual interest. Too much similarity in plant choice, and your garden design can become monotonous or bland. One way of creating contrast is by creating differences in the plant color selections.
Plants that are a deep shade of purple or wine will act as a counterpoint to shades of green in you garden.
Here are a few of the dark beauties that we use:

 Smoke Tree Cotinus coggygria

Cordyline 'Redstar'

Echevaria, "BlackPrince'

Aeonium atropurpureum 'Shwartz-kopt'

  BlackMondo Grass Ophiopogon 'Nigrescens'

Sedum 'Dragon's Blood'

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co. Inc

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape's Before and After Update

This La Jolla home owner was ready to make the move and get rid of the expansive lawn in their front yard. We were delighted to help because we specialize in creating lush landscapes that are water efficient. The final product speaks for itself.



Harry created an enchanting space with intertwining flagstone garden paths.  The Gaura lindeheimeri, which grows from a deep tap root making it drought tolerant, adds an air of whimsy. While the Anigozanthos or Kangaroo Paw gives the garden a real punch of color.  He also re-designed the entry, incorporating a brick walkway that looks as if it has always been there. Now, the homeowner has a true garden that invites her out to enjoy the flowers and the beauty year round while still conserving water.



from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Company

"All Gardening is landscape painting." -Alexander Pope

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Drought Tolerant Flower of the Month - Pincushion

The Protea, or Pincushion Flower, is a member of the Proteaceae family which is an ancient group of some 300 species of flowering plants from South Africa & Australia. The South African species consists of Protea, Leucadendron and Leucospermum.  There are some wonderful expamples of these at the Water Conservation Garden.  The Australian species includes Banksia. Ideally, they thrive in well-drained soil in full sun with good air circulation. Keeping your irrigation zones in mind, don't plant them with other garden flowers which need continuous damp soil. Because they evolved in such poor nutrient areas, they don't require fertilizer. In fact it's important to avoid fertilizers with phosphorous or ammonium nitrate. These exotic blooms last for quite a while in floral arrangements if you strip all leaves below the water level, add 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to the water every 5 days and keep them out of direct sunlight.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Picks for Garden Tours this Weekend

Secret Garden Tour of Old La Jolla
Sponsor: La Jolla Historical Society
Saturday, May 14; 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Cost: $50 ($40 for LJHS members)

Stops on this popular tour are not revealed until tour day. Previous events have visited ocean-view estates and La Jolla Village cottages. Details on a package that includes transportation and lunch are on the LJHS web site.

Historic Garden Tour
Sponsor: San Diego Floral Association
Saturday, May 14; 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Cost: $20 ($25 day of)
A garden planned and planted by horticulturist Kate Sessions is among the gardens on this tour centered in Coronado. The bay-side city was the site of Sessions’ first nursery growing fields and there are many trees and other plants associated with her growing in their fullest and most beautiful forms throughout its neighborhoods.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Picks for Garden Tours this Weekend

There are also 3 Garden tours happening this Saturday that are note worthy.

The Mission Hills Garden tour , now in its 13th year, will feature a dozen gardens with musicians & artists at a few of the tour stops. info

The American Association of University Women's Del Mar-Leucadia branch is hosting 'Throug the Garden Gates' tour which showcases drought tolerant plantings on 4 North County Gardens. Ticket Sales benefit educatinal programs. info

'Rambling through the Ranch', sponsored by the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, will not only have a trolley transport tour-goers to 5 RSF gardens, but will also have an open-air market at 17025 Avenida de Acacias.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Pick for a Garden Party this Weekend

It's Mother's Day weekend. May 7th is also the first Saturday of May which means that the Marston House in Balboa Park is having its second annual 'May Day' celebration. Highlights of the day's activities include:

The unveiling, introduction, and sale of the
2015 San Diego Exposition Centennial Geranium, Balboa Park
As one of San Diego's greatest benefactors, George Marston is also called the Father of Balboa Park, so it's very fitting that the Geranium George Project (GGP) has created and named in his honor the "Balboa Park" to mark and celebrate the 2015 San Diego Exposition Centennial. Individual sales begin May 7 at the San Diego's Garden Party at the Marston House.

Since 2005 the GGP has introduced many varieties significantly have been "Geranium George" and "Kate Sessions" to honor these legendary and influential San Diego residents, and to create Heritage Plants for the San Diego community to enjoy.

Jim Zemcik, who is the hybridizer, noted that he chose to work with this particular plant because "The bright orange and red bloom with its elegant frill to its petals captures the Spanish Colonial City on the Hill to perfection."

The San Diego Floral Association
The Marston house and gardens has an almost one hundred year connection to the association. As one of their early members, George Marston was an advocate for horticultural needs of the city, including Balboa Park.

As the oldest garden club in Southern California, founded in 1907, and the very first organization to occupy quarters in Balboa Park, it is also an integral part of San Diego's Garden Party - May Day at the Marston House. Activities will include making May baskets just in time for Mothers Day.

Plein-Air Art Show by San Diego Artists
San Diego has a long tradition of producing great plein-air painters; George Marston counted among his friends Charles Fries and Alfred Mitchell. They created murals for Marston's department store and for his home. Following in this tradition, some of San Diego's finest artists will exhibit and sell their works. A silent auction of paintings by these invited artists will augment this benefit.

Fashion Show
Another visual treat will be a high couture fashion show by Leonard Simpson of Fashion Forward™. The spring fashions will feature beautiful models strolling the grounds with designs by Alexander Lucque of Ecopaperdoll. Fashion Forward™, produced by Leonard G. Simpson is internationally known for their premier fashion shows and other high-profile entertainment projects. This year's show held on Mother's Day weekend is in memory of Mr. Simpson's late mother Gwendolyn Simpson.

Marston House Museum Tours
Free with general admission ticket. An abbreviated tour of one of San Diego's architectural treasures will give May Day visitors a peek into the home's many layers of history, arts and culture. Completed in 1905, the Arts & Crafts house was designed by Hebbard & Gill, San Diego's most illustrious architecture firm at the time.

Historic Garden Tours
The Marston House gardens represent the work of several renowned landscape designers and the Marstons, who were avid garden and open-space advocates. George and daughter Mary were thoroughly engaged in the designing, planning and implementation of the gardens.

Tea, lemonade and baked goods included with admission

Wine Garden - $10
Includes two glasses of wine in a keepsake Marston House wine glass (a $5 value) with cheese and fruit buffet co-sponsored by the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant. Additional glasses of wine can be purchased onsite for $6 each.

For Ticket info:
Call SOHO (619) 297-9327 or (619) 297-7511

Buy In person at the Marston House Museum Shop, 3525 Seventh Avenue;
Day of the Event Tickets may be purchased beginning at 10am

Friday, April 29, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Picks for Garden Tours this Weekend

Saturday, April 30; 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
For ticket Info:
Twenty gardens along tree-lined, historic Crest Avenue in Encinitas will be open for this year’s tour, the 6th annual. In addition a Marketplace will house plant and garden product vendors, information booths, refreshments and several free garden talks.

Ramona Garden Tour
Saturday, April 30; 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Gardens owned by photographers, artists and nature lovers are among the five featured on this 4th annual tour. On tour day, a plant sale will be held at the First Business Bank, 1315 Main Street, where educational and other vendor booths also will be located.

Upcoming tour:
Coronado's Historic Garden Tour
Saturday, May 14th
Info and tickets available online at

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Before and After in Crown Point



This home in Crown Point had a rather non-descript concrete walkway and stepped entrance. The distance from the sidewalk to the home was relatively narrow. Increasing the walkways width makes the entrance to the home more of a statement as a destination. The Brazilian slate tile adds warmth. This project was desgined, built & then maintained by Torrey Pines Landscape Company.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company's Top picks for Places to Visit

On April 4th, Torrey Pines Landscape Company was a proud sponsor of the Garden Festival at Cuyamaca College. If you haven't been to the Water Conservation Garden, you don't know what you are missing. They have wonderful exhibits and gardens showcasing water-wise options.
Their web site for info, directions and hours is

This weekend, April 22nd thru 24th visit Orchids at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad. There will be 20 vendors with orchids from around the world and thousands of plants for sale. The Flower Fields off Palomar Airport Rd are ablaze with bands of color (Tecolote Ranunculus). They are open to visitors from March 1rst through May 8th. For info and directions visit:

Of course our we encourage you to visit our website to view our portfolio.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Before and After in Carmel Valley, CA

This Carmel Valley home's front door was tucked back between the side of the garage and the property line. The original sidewalk was utilitarian but uninviting. Visitors were a bit confused with which side walk leading off the driveway would get them to the front door. We created a gracious curvy entrance that welcomes while making use of the limited space. We affectionately refer to this job as the Cozy Calico Corner because the stone colors, selected by the owner, create a Mexican-influenced patch work which gave a nod to the existing inlaid tiles in the wall. Stay tuned to our blog to see the Outdoor room we designed and built in the back garden.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Torrey Pines Landscape Company - Before and After Photos

It's always thrilling to watch the gardens that we have worked on grow and bring enjoyment to the home owners. This project in Rancho Santa Fe truly started with a blank seen in the top photo.

Visit our website to see our portfolio:

And continue to visit our blog for more before and after pictures!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Room with a View in Del Mar

This home in Del Mar had a narrow courtyard space outside of the dining room window which the owners had filled with a 'plug-and-play' water feature and some tropical plants in pots. We wanted to create a lush view for them that did justice to their homes interior design (Tommy Bahama eat your heart out). Since their windows were tall, we designed and built a vertical waterwall with a basin out of natural stone. There are planting niches along the edges which we filled with exotic bromelliads. The sounds created by this feature along with the tropical plantings placed in the new beds really give the homeowners the tropical flavor in both sights and sounds that they wanted. "Mahalo"to the homeowners who allowed us to bring their inspiration of all things Hawaiin to fruition.

from the office of Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Red Chaises add color

Your home doesn't end at your front or back door. Especially in San Diego, with our temperate climate, our living space extends into the outdoor spaces of our properties. These outdoor rooms warrant just as much attention to form and function as our indoor spaces. There are 4 basic steps to follow for outdoor room decorating.
1. Determine the function of the spaces. For example, you will need to choose areas for eating, entertaining, relaxing or enjoying a view or focal point within the space. Will it be covered or exposed to wet? Providing adequate shade and seating needs to be taken into consideration.
2. Determine the style and color scheme. Carry your indoor style and colors to the outdoors so that the transition flows. Pick a color from the inside and punch it up in saturation level when you carry it outside.
3. Furniture selection and placement. Choose lounging and dining furniture that fits. Position furniture to create an inviting and comfortable area. A common mistake when choosing outdoor dining furniture is selecting a set that is too large for the space. Remember you'll need ample patio space to walk around a pulled out chair.
4.Accessorize. Fabrics specifically constructed for the outdoors will soften and add luxury to an outdoor room while adding color. Potted plants add more color and texture. The choices are endless...have fun!
Any outdoor furnishings need to be able to withstand the elements; they need to be constructed for optimum strength and durability without sacrificing aesthetics.
The personality of your outdoor spaces should reflect your personal style. This can be achieved with the furnishings and decorative touches that you choose to add once we have completed a new installation. Torrey Pines Landscape Company is a design and build business. I usually visit homes 6 months and 1 year after a projects completion for a pictorial follow-up. I'm delighted to see what the homeowner has done to make their new outdoor space reflect their own taste and personal style.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Most planting is done around the spring (March & April) and the fall (September & October). Any extra time that you spend attending to your gardens during these periods means a healthier garden year-round which requires less overhauls in maintenance. With the exception of tropicals, which prefer to be planted in warmer months, March is a great month to plant: summer perennials and annuals, warm-season veggies and almost all 'regular' garden plantings like trees, shrubs, ground covers and vines. There are areas of the county in the foothills (Poway) and low-lying areas (any interior valley in Rancho Santa Fe) that will still be subject to the possibility of frosts, but in general, March is the best time to replace plants and trees that over the course of the past year haven't added to the overall aesthetics, that are diseased or that aren't suited in function for your garden. For example we recently replaced a tree that was shedding leaves which the wind would whip into the pool and whose berries were staining the flagstone patios and walkways. The owners wanted shade minus the mess.
It is also the time to focus on maintenance. Dethatch warm season lawns. Aerate and mulch cool season lawns. Deadhead cool season flowers (like Iceland Poppies, Calendulas and Snap dragons). Plant Petunias. Fertilize perennials. (FYI Annuals complete their life cylce in one year. Biennials in 2 years and Perennials live for more than 2 years) Cut back woody and over grown perrenials. Prune camellis. Cut back blue hibiscus and clumps of Festuca Glauca. Fertilize citrus, avocado, ornamental trees, bushes and ground covers, roses, fuchias and feed lawns. Supplement irrigation if needed for new plantings and do a water-audit of your entire system. Control slugs, snails, other pests & diseases. There's a lot to do! Spring is the busiest time for our maintenance crews but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Our office recently received a distress call from a San Diego homeowner. A slope on his property had commenced to 'slide' because of the recent rains and a local engineering geologist recommended us, Torrey Pines Landscape Co., as a business that could help him prevent this situation from recurring. (It's great to get unsolicited referrals.) There are several emergency erosion response businesses in San Diego that will respond to more serious scenarios. Check with the BBB to find a reputable company suited for your needs. Anyway, I thought I'd do a quick blog about erosion control, since undoubtedly this homeowner is not alone in this predicament. Prevention is really the watchword for erosion control. Surface drains, berms, retaining walls, terraces and appropriate choices in plantings along with careful maintenance can all help stop erosion. Make sure that all of the soil beside the home slopes away from the foundation and regularly clear debris form drains, gutters and weep holes in retaining walls. The sites soil makeup can impact erosion. Most roots grow in the uppermost soil layer, called topsoil, which is directly affected by the weather. Clay soils hold water for longer after getting wet and drain slowly as opposed to sandier soils. There are many factors which need to be taken into consideration when developing a strategy for erosion control. For slopes, we might opt to roll out biodegradable jute netting across the grade and install staggered plantings in well-prepared soil that have strong dense roots - like a Ceanothus spreading variety, and set up a drip irrigation system. The jute prevents surface erosion until the new plantings get established. Over time the net degrades and the plants grow large enough along with their roots systems to take over the job of erosion control. Installing a good drainage system is critical. A well constructed terraced slope will need horizontal drains that intercept water and debris and carry them across the face of the slope & vertical down drains to steer run off down slope to the street. (This scenario is referring to home with a slope behind it and the street level located below it) No matter what your circumstance, we are here to help. Remember prevention is the watchword for erosion control and if you are having problems this year, it's a good time to develop a prevention strategy to protect your investment in your home and gardens for the years to come.
Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc.
visit our website to see our services and portfolios

Monday, February 21, 2011

La Jolla Landscape Design- Case Study

We will be replacing the case studies on our web-site. So here's a last look at what's there:

This La Jolla project started from a ground-up remodel of a cottage that sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Bird Rock. The owners wanted to create more privacy and interest to the front of their newly remodeled home. Some of the original brick planters were left in place, so we worked off of them in style and texture. Flagstone and salvaged bricks were mixed in patterns providing an old world cottage charm with an updated twist. There were garden art objects to locate and drives and walks to consider. Because of the proximity to the ocean, plants were selected that can hold up to the salt spray in the environment. Every nook of this garden was utilized. Even a narrow side yard became an inviting little meditation spot with a cute park bench with surrounding brick planters. Since the rear patios were right on the ocean cliff, we designed raised planters to eliminate the need for railings and fences that would interrupt the views. Stone and salvaged brick veneers were used to provide a continuity of style with the front courtyards.