We were called in to save this garden. Although the layout was very pleasing, the plants were all dying. We found a difficult growing situation, with rocky clay soil and little drainage. The clients wanted to keep the lawn for their children to play on, but the lawn water intensified the drainage problem. After agreeing to resuscitate the garden, we moved all the plants in the level areas up into the surrounding slopes. We then added new soil to the borders, and created a new planting scheme for the different growing conditions within the garden. Because one of the owners was a native Californian and the other was from South Africa, we used a planting scheme featuring plants from those climates (two of the five mediterranean climates in the world). As the new plantings began to grow, we created stone and grass walkways through the long borders, added the Spirit Song bench and Italian pots at the pool, and suddenly found that we had created a unique garden style new to Woodside. In just a little more than a year, the garden went from being a failure to being featured on the American Garden Conservancy's 2009 tour of important gardens of the San Francisco peninsula.

Landscape redesign: Chris Jacobson
Landscape contractor: Rafael Gomez
Terra cotta containers: Collezione
Spirit Song bench: Diamond Teak