In the Studio | Pleasant Hill Landscape

In the studio

We put together a plan for a great couple in Pleasant Hill.  This project focused on both the front yard’s curb appeal and privacy in the back yard. Building on what they already had in the landscape, we created a retreat from busy life and shelter from the noisy main road near their home. The front yard already had retaining walls and steps making perfect planting beds, so we filled those with plants that would create great curb appeal.


Easy maintenance was also important, so we carefully chose plants that don’t require a lot of work. We added a planting bed to the front near the road. This created a sound barrier and a screen for the bedroom windows. It also gives a pretty view instead of looking right at a busy road. We filled in the back yard with a multi-layered planting to screen views and buffer noise. Near the existing deck, we designed a large patio with a fire pit and water feature to add space for the clients to hang out with friends and family.  This project will be phased in over time and I’m excited to see it come to life!

We always start with an inspiration board, which helps us AND our clients get on the same page about all the design elements. In this project, we wanted to create a fire pit patio connected with the deck, so images of options helped guide the design. We also wanted to bring in some more modern features to coordinate with their mid-century aesthetic, and a few different photos captured the idea perfectly.

Our plant palette serves as yet another inspiration guide. The form, texture and colors will work together in the landscape. For this project, we had a tight color palette of greens, whites, and burgundy. We also wanted a lot of evergreens to do the heavy lifting for all the screening required.  Grasses add beautiful low-maintenance movement and texture – I love them!

I love how all the elements work together to create a finished yard, both front and back!


Here are a couple of close-ups of the patio.  We added a sun shade to create a more comfortable space to spend time in.  The water feature wall is my favorite – the multi-level blades will recirculate water and create movement and noise. We all love the sound of water, and it’s even more important to drown out a noisy road nearby!

This project shows how much you can add to a small space to make it really special. These clients wanted to do much of the work themselves, so we’ve ended up with a budget-friendly design that works.