Torrey Pines Landscape Company

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

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.
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