Helm Residence, Ojai

We were pleased to be asked by architect David Serrurier to landscape a new home set in a hidden corner of the Upper Ojai Valley. Both husband and wife are lawyers who wanted a rustic weekend retreat not too far from their residence in Hancock Park. The challenge was to create an inviting setting in a semi-arid location. A varied palette of California native plants were used such as Toyon, Manzanitas, Salvias, and Rock Roses. Two large storage tanks were installed for fire flow as well as to help provide water for irrigation. We’ve used unthirsty plants, including Palo Verde trees that provide lacy shade over the central walkway. Ornamental grasses such as Deer Grass and Pink Muhly are complemented by a burbling urn and vistas that extend from the elegant pool into the surrounding hills. Our goal was to enhance the privacy of the home by surrounding it with the refreshing sights and sounds and cooling effects of water and shade.

Photograph by Undine Prohl