Happy Canyon, Santa Ynez

A few years after completion of a new home in Santa Ynez, we were asked to revitalize the landscape and make the different areas part of a greater whole.

The big idea was to create an arboreal mass of trees surrounding the house that interfaced with the native landscape of chaparral and oak grassland. We settled upon putting in 250 olive trees.

The front lawn had become an irregular patch of green and was eliminated. We grouped together masses of plants at the entryway, including three types of lavender and Teucrium. Throughout, we planted similar types of plants together to give an even-handed consistency to the landscape. An acre-and-a-half pond was created within the natural folds of the native landscape in order to minimize the amount of grading. To filter the water, the pond is planted with aquatic plants that are self-sustaining. The surrounding area is planted in Mediterranean materials that can survive the heat, cold, and wind.