California Landscape Design – Mediterranean Lifestyle on the Pacific West Coast

The Father of California Landscape Designs

Today’s elaborate and stylish high-end landscape designs first appeared in affluent areas of Southern California at the beginning of the 1930’s. An educated landscape architect with experience in the popular garden styles of Europe in this era, Thomas Church, began a landscape design firm in downtown San Francisco and quickly became a household name in Southern California outdoor planning.

During his 45 year career in California landscape design, Church created more than 2,000 custom garden designs in some of the most prosperous areas and developments of Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside, all during the prime of modern architectural development. These functional, yet beautiful, outdoor living spaces resulted in a trend that is still growing in popularity across the nation of extending the living space of a home into the openness of nature.

The Many Faces of this Unique Design Style

The homes of Southern California are some of the most remarkable structures in the world and represent a variety of unique architectural styles. California landscape designs complement these fine homes with carefully selected plants, materials, and accessories to create a central theme that blends outdoor charm with sophisticated style for a magnificent outdoor living area.

While most of the various landscape designs seen across Southern California possess a rustic, Old World appearance, there are also classy, formal garden styles that reflect a more contemporary atmosphere. The influence of the European Mediterranean can also be seen in many California garden styles.

With so many different garden styles and influences seen in the landscape designs of of this area, there is one common thread among them all. Each and every California landscape design is carefully planned to reflect the relaxed, natural lifestyle of the warm Mediterranean coast while complementing the style of the most lavish homes.

These Mediterranean styled designs are simple, but sophisticated, functional, as well as ornate, and these outdoor living spaces are truly designed for outdoor living.

Elements of a California style garden may include:

  • Natural accessories, like unfinished furniture or terra cotta planters
  • Colorful cushions, patio ware, lighting, and flower pots, with bright, vivid colors
  • Simple materials, like bark, gravel, and stone, accent water features and create walkways

Because of the wonderful diversity throughout Southern California, the landscape designs are also unique but they are all carefully planned to make outdoor living at home convenient, relaxing, and a beautiful part of your residence. With so many different garden styles to choose from, it is often best to employ the services of an experienced California landscape design firm.

Choosing a Landscaping Design Company

Like most people, your home is probably the biggest investment you have made in your life. A great way to enhance this investment is to landscape your yard or garden. Again, if you are like most people, you may have only a small knowledge about the principles of landscaping so it may be a better idea to hire a landscaping design company rather than attempt to create a design yourself.

Whether it is your first time to landscape your garden or you are looking into changing the look of your existing garden landscape, hiring a landscaping design company is the easiest way to get the job done. Designing a garden or yard landscape can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately, there are many competent and reliable landscaping professionals that can handle the work for you and ensure you achieve the results you want.

A landscaping design company will work with you to create a landscape design tailored to your needs and preferences. However, it is also the responsibility of the designer to give you expert advice and ensure that you make the right choices from selecting plants and other materials to proper layout, lighting and other concerns.

A landscaping design company consists of landscape professionals such as designers and architects. A professional landscape designer may or may not have a landscaping degree or a license. On the other hand, a landscape architect should have both in order to practice landscaping. In the project has many “issues” such as slopes and high terrain, the services of a landscape architect may be necessary.

If you would also require landscape construction or installation services in addition to design, the landscaping design company will be able to refer to you to a landscape contractor. Alternatively, you can choose to work with a design-build company, which is a firm that employs both designers and contractors.

When choosing a landscaping design company, do not forget to request for references from past clients and ask to see their work portfolio. It would also be good if you can check the sites that they designed. Find out how long the company has been in the business, their professional affiliations and if they are insured and licensed.

It is recommended to evaluate a few companies before making a decision. Be sure to let the company know how much you are willing to spend. Your chosen landscaping design company should present to you a written service contract with detailed project specifications, costing, and schedule.

Landscape Design

Landscape design is an important aspect of designing your property. If you have land surrounding your house, you can plan and design a beautiful landscape to give you extra living space or add aesthetics to the building. Landscape design can be done for homes, public places and corporate establishments. A well-designed landscape can enhance the value of the property.

Before going in for landscape design, plan and work out the design in detail. If you can visualize your plan using software, it can give you a good idea of how the landscape will look. The landscape should merge well with the building around it. You can use a formal style, informal style, English garden, or an Oriental or woodland look, depending on the architecture and look of the main building. Then prioritize what functional this landscape design should serve. It can be a new area for play or leisure, to block sun, wind or street noises, or to improve the look of the property.

Analyze your site to see how you can implement your ideas. Decide on the plants, statues, steps and lighting you will need. Finally, see that your plan matches the climate of the area as well as your budget. Looking into all the details beforehand can save you lots of effort and money in trying out various ideas.

If you cannot handle this task on your own, you could hire a landscape designer. Or, if you have enough interest in the subject, you could learn all the tactics in a landscape designing course. On the Internet there is vast information on landscape designing available, if you want to put in the time and effort. There are lots of forums and associations of landscape design that have come up to bring together people to share views and experiences on landscape designs. Whatever way you go, it is better to go in for such a plan that involves minimal use of pesticides in the long run and does not require a great deal of maintenance.