San Jose Oak Woodland Garden



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A mature Valley Oak is the driving influence behind this rear yard design for a Craftsman-Style residence. A meandering bluestone path weaves around the oak tree, while a stone patio set on sand allows for ample seating. Craftsman-style wood detailing such as the gridded trellis unify the house and landscape

The location for the portable gas barbecue is defined with an FSC Certified Redwood arbor. Low volt lighting in the arbor allows for after dark cooking. The stone patio is set on sand, not mortar, allowing rain water to percolate into the soil under the oak tree. Wine barrels purchased from a local vineyard serve as inexpensive vegetable planters that give the space a rustic feel.

The small curvalinear area of mowed turf was designed as a playspace for a young grandchild. A billowing meadow with grasses such as Festuca californica provides a more natural and drought tolerant transition under the oak tree. The meadow was seeded with annual California wildflowers: Poppies, Gillia, Yarrow, and Clakia, which bloom in flushes of color. Over time, the grasses have filled in and provide a permanent cover for the meadow.

A custom 'bubbling rock' fountain was created from a locally quarried rock. The water feature has a 'vanishing' basin, which provides a natural look as well as a safety maintenance benefits. Many species of birds are drawn to the bubbling water. Adirondak chairs provide a casual seating area

The front yard features a custom fence that steps down as it nears the sidewalk and a dry-stack wall with boulders. This feature gives the small front yard interest and a subtle grade change.

The side yard is defined by a custom bult craftsman style fence and trash enclosure. An existing wisteria arbor was extendedto create a focal point off the dining room window. The existing driveway was sawcut to provide a smaller patio space that blends into a crushed stone walkway.

Stephanie Morris, Landscape Architect - cell (408) 206.5055 or stephlmorris@hotmail.com