Front and Back Yard Design and Hardscape


Cardiff, CA


March 2018

For homeowners Bob and Laurie in Cardiff by the Sea, a small coastal suburb in San Diego, gardening was an ongoing challenge. Their landscape had been installed many years ago and consisted of the usual 1980’s fare. Bird of Paradise, fortnight lilies and bougainvillea were bursting from the narrow planting beds surrounding the property. Tired old time favorites like Camellias and Azaleas struggled to survive, due to the inhospitable soil and lack of fertilizer.

Bob and Laurie called Laura and Team DFS to bring life and a sense of renewal to their outdoor spaces. Lovely and mature Pygmy Date Palms shaded much of the planting areas so that we were able to introduce a world class assortment of Bromeliads and Mangaves into the design.

Narrow planting beds also made for stunning use of succulent spillers like Portulacaria afra variegata. Tight, compact growing Crassulas like ovata, argentea, and undulata brought color and texture to the spaces, and Pedilanthus bracteatus replaced the bird of Paradise as a tall, flowering thriller.

We chose a sunny space along the fence line for a new cactus garden and added low profile specimens that will flower almost year-round in this sunny climate. By redirecting the existing river rocks into a narrow ribbon atop a new bed of crushed gravel, we softened the look and gave the eye a line to follow throughout the back garden beds.

The overall new look is cool, refined, exciting and celebrates Southern California drought tolerant design at its finest. Scroll down to get your Succulent Tip of the Day fix!



Cardiff Succulent Installation - Day 1
Cardiff Succulent Installation - Day 3
Cardiff Succulent Installation - Day 4
Cardiff Succulent Installation - Day 5
Cardiff Grand Reveal
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© 2017 Design for Serenity