top of page
  • Writer's pictureJeff Robbins

Encinitas Landscaping: Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Gardening meets Contemporary Architecture

Updated: Jul 2, 2018

When you think sustainability, words like environmental impact, efficiency and consciousness come to mind. We’d like to suggest adding in the word beautiful (or any synonym of your choice) to your repertoire. The architecture of this house was already quite stunning and the challenge of this project was meeting the standards of beauty laid out for us. How could we pursue our sustainable/organic efforts without interrupting the contemporary flow of this home? The answer was in beautiful redwood raised vegetable beds, an aluminum wall to mimic the pre-existing roof and adorning native ornamental plants.

Upon entering this space you are instantaneously met by a carefully structured driveway, which contains a porous crushed rock. Can you tell we love this stuff? If not, we’ll briefly remind you of why porous material literally rocks. For one, it allows for any flowing water to be soaked up and filtrated. That means this water, which can pick up street pollutants, is redirected away from storm drains which eventually dump into large (or small) bodies of water that surround us. Besides the many environmental benefits to permeable pavement, there are many decorative types that can look great too. Expanding upon the idea of appearance we were met with another architectural conundrum – functionality vs. aesthetics. We decided to utilize our space responsibly and added energy saving lights into the raised vegetable beds to create a lit pathway at night. Now not only a nutritionally dense bed for fresh veggies but a functional adornment.

As astonishing as the raised beds are, we still had much more work ahead. How could we add ground cover and utilize space efficiently? The answer lies within drought tolerant and native ornamentals. One of our most utilized plants which adds a little burst of flare comes in the form of mexican feather grass. An easy to grow drought tolerant plant, mexican feather grass acts as a great ground cover for edging beds and a beautiful accent piece to many native plants. This plant flourishes beautifully in full sun, but is tolerant to shady areas.

Directing ourselves back to the aesthetics of it all, we bring attention to the aluminum dividing wall that lies between the chicken coop and the neighbors yard. We were looking for a cohesive way to tie the contemporary design of the house into our space. Aluminum is a great recyclable fabric and was an easy way to mimic the existing roof on the home. This has attracted light to the different natives like creeping sage and also helped to blossom blueberry bushes that enriches the ground cover. While aluminum is a nice accent it is also one of the most abundant elements on Earth. This makes it a great choice and it is often a go-to for those looking for sustainable building materials.

So all in all, what are we conveying? Sustainability is beautiful, in more ways than one, and design aesthetics do not have to fly out the door when revamping to a more conscious landscape. For more questions on the property, please feel free to reach out.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page