In October of 2014, the San Francisco landscape was parched. California struggled under an intense heat wave. Los Angeles reached 92 degrees by noon. The LAUS school district cancelled all outside activities and sports for the rest of the week, and inland temperatures reached over the 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the weekends. It was hot.
While the ground sweltered and cracked, Los Angeles took on the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series… and Tamate Landscaping moved into Noe Valley to make that part of the country a little wetter, prettier, and a whole lot more stylish.
This time, our client was a return visitor. Previously, they had wanted Tamate Landscaping to build a roof top garden when they lived in the Mission. Eventually they sold the place, and bought a new home in Noe Valley.
This time, the project was to update the front entrance and backyard with an Asian flair. It took some time and a lot of custom work, but we got it done. Judge for yourself how well it turned out!
For the front, we focused on curb appeal. What once started with a mismatched brick and stone entrance now has beautiful, matching planters, custom-made by Tamate Landscaping. All together there are three: two on each side of the pathway to the front door and one on the other side of the driveway.
Each planter was built with steel reinforced concrete. By reinforcing the concrete with steel, it guarantees a longer life-span for the planters. Once the concrete cured, the planters were veneered with stone. We deliberately chose stone that had color offsets rather than a uniform l0ok, to provide a more “authentic” feel. Finally, the walls of the planters were capped with 1-1/2” thick, black basalt.
In the close up above, a beautiful Kanjuji lantern sets off a bed of pebbles and Blue Fescue, helping set the Asian tone. It is an excellent choice for a Japanese/Western, east-west landscaping blend. Made of natural granite, each lantern is carved into separate pieces (due to the weight of the stone) and assembled in its new home.
We couldn’t let all the stonework go to waste in the dark. We added step lights, wall lights and small night lighting in the planters to provide curb appeal even in the dark.
We continued the theme in the back yard. Above is a custom-made, Japanese-style water feature. We made this from scratch, drilling and carving to make the stone trough. The unit recirculates the water, so it’s drought and budget friendly. As well, the water feature provides a soft trickling sound to obscure street noise. Another Kanjuji lantern graces the area, and a little stone Buddha is the final touch.
The backyard went from an overgrown, patchy area to a beautiful Asian-flavored landscape, including the little rest area set in the corner. It’s perfect for enjoying the rest of the garden, lulled by the peaceful sound of water trickling.