Sage Outdoor Designs » landscape design

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I love selecting boulders


When it comes to choosing boulders, my favorite place by far is Southwest Boulder & Stone. Don’t be fooled by their smaller lot in Pacific beach, their large lot outside Fallbrook is the way to go. The pile of boulders in this photo is one of about 20 varieties of boulders that you can choose from, and they will let you pick any boulder in the pile, even if it is on the bottom.

When you choose your rocks, start by deciding whether you would like one that is smooth and rounded or jagged and rough. That will let you eliminate 50% of the options. Then start looking at color and texture of the stone. If you want the boulder to look natural in the landscape, you will need to bury at least one third of it, so you need to select boulders that are larger than the final desired result.

In this case, we were looking for boulders to use as casual seating, so they needed one side that was flattish and smooth-ish. I think it is tons of fun climbing around on all the rock piles!

Practice safe design…

Hold It store windowThis is the time of year that I think of as my teaching season (I am honored to be able to teach design classes with the Genesis 3 Design Group). It has me thinking quite a bit about what makes good design, and how to teach others how to be better designers. I stumbled across this window display at HoldIt, a fantastic modern furniture store in Mission Valley, and I just love the sentiment! Practice safe design: use a concept. I think I might need to borrow that as the title for my next class!

Sweeps of Texture


Pittosporum, Westringia and Santolina

Pittosporum, Westringia and Santolina

Both soothing and cohesive. These simple sweeps of soft shrubs really compliment the angular nature of the sandstone retaining walls.  Awesome!!!

Playful Driveway

IMG_5588I was driving through a new development in the North county and ran across this playful driveway. I don’t know if I love it . My thoughts.

What is attractive to me:

It is bold. 3 different color concrete pours in a rectilinear pattern that is both clean and complicated.

The pattern integrates into the path to the front door.  Integration is good.

Dymondia, the drought tolerant ground cover darling of the contemporary landscape.

Where it falls short for me:

Maintenance. How can we make a driveway complicated for the sake of complication. (see photo)

Aesthetic dis-agreement. It feels like a modern detail thrust into a traditional design.

Forced. Although the path is integrated into a ‘pattern’ the ‘pattern’ seems to fall apart after the walkway to the front door.

Some other thoughts:

I am always excited about new ideas, techniques and applications in design, and this was something I had not seen in this particular application before. Good or bad it was definitely statement.

I’d love to know what you all think.