WITH THE HOT SUN BEATING DOWN on the pavement, even the stately olive tree abutting this Rancho Santa Fe home’s driveway looked withered.
“This part of the front yard was a pretty warm site,” says Harry Thompson of Torrey Pines Landscape Company. “The reflected heat from the drive, walls and street, and the high ratio of hardscape to soft-scape was adding to the reflected heat index. But what the homeowner wanted was to create a good first impression with neighbors and friends.”
There was no need to switch out the high-end Belgard inter-locking pavers, but the new, mad, happy mix of reds, yellows, blues and pinks from heat-loving plants energized the western side of this circular driveway. Boulders also were kept, but moved, and Thompson wove a cascade of pink ivy geraniums through them.
“We chose plants that are not water hogs,” says Thompson, “but what we also did was to contrast colors and textures, so that even when the plants are not in bloom, there’s good graphics in the landscape.”
Adding stone columns and walls integrated with the Tuscan-style architecture of the residence. Eldorado stone was chosen to match the home’s exterior.
“Keeping the boulders and adding form and structure with curved stone walls, turned a rustic setting into something that is a nice Mediterranean garden with style and elegance,” says Thompson.
Photo (Above): A plain Rancho Santa Fe driveway now explodes with color and texture brought on in part by Spanish Lavenders, sweet alyssum, bougainvillea, hybrid African daisies, ivy geraniums and blue hibiscus.
Photo (Right): Before
Homes: Before & After by Eva Ditler