Front Yard and Sidewalk Design and Hardscape


Lakeside, CA


November 2018

Lakeside is in San Diego’s east county. The weather gets quite hot in the summer and can reach freezing from time to time throughout the winter months. We decided to time our installation for mid fall, when temps would stay cooperatively mild for a few months, thus giving the new landscape time to acclimate.


Homeowners, Eric and Yesenia rolled up their collective sleeves and handled the demo of all the existing plants and river rocks! Some were repurposed and given to friends and neighbors!

We started off this five day install with a blank slate. The original design had all of the plants hugging the edge of the walls. The majority of this small garden space was covered in river rock. The look was heavy and uninspired.


We brought in six cubic yards of soil and moved it into undulating mounds before staging large boulders throughout. This technique creates visual interest and gives the eye somewhere to go! Once the mounds and boulders were in place, plants were staged throughout. Being mindful of the climate zone (10a), we chose specimens carefully and showed admirable restraint by limiting the number of plants in the installation. We relied on rock and movement of elevations to carry the show!


Tapestry work was limited to the areas under the front eves, where the plants would benefit from some shade in the summer and radiant heat in the winter. In front of the privacy fence and nearest the sidewalk, we installed one of my signature “Barrel Colonies.” After soil mounding and boulder placement, mature boxed Echinocactus grusonii were staged throughout, then topdressed with wavy ribbons of rubble on top of burgundy lava. The resulting xeriscape requires no water outside of what nature provides, and will tolerate all of the Lakeside summer heat like a boss! Occasional covering with frost cloth may be indicated from time to time when chilly winter nights are predicted.


We added some decorative glazed pots for pops of color and a sturdy bench for plant gazing/wine sipping. We are so pleased that Eric and Yesenia now have the garden of their dreams and look forward to following its growth and development in the years to come.

Lakeside Installation - Day 1
Lakeside Installation - Day 2
Lakeside Installation - Grand Reveal
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© 2017 Design for Serenity