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Garden Rooms for an Urban Bungalow


Enthusiastic Gardener

What We Did

We completely redesigned and rebuilt a worn out, 50+ year old landscape from the ground up.  The garden includes:

  • A courtyard dining room with a water-wise tropical vibe.
  • A slope of beautiful native plants that attract wildlife
  • A welcoming street-side garden of low maintenance, waterwise plants
  • An Asian inspired backyard with a water feature to attract birds
  • Fruit trees and vegetable beds
  • A back deck and barbecue area

Design Gallery

The owners of this small urban property purchased it brand new in the 1970s, and had it landscaped by a well known landscape architect.

When they moved out of town, the property became a rental for many years.  By time they returned to retire, the landscape was almost non-existent.

One of the owners is an enthusiastic gardener who had long dreamed about creating a new garden, and handed me her wish list.  It included page after page of plants and descriptions of the garden rooms she envisioned: a water-wise “Sedona garden,” a tropical garden space, a “social garden,” a “wild cottage garden,” and a few others – all for a tiny space. It was a challenge but we managed to include almost everything in the final design.

All plants are chosen for their aesthetics, their site suitability, and their minimal water requirements.

To minimize water use, the garden is hydrozoned, meaning that plants are grouped not only for their sun and soil needs, but also by their need for irrigation. The thirstiest plants are under light shade in the enclosed courtyard.  The rest thrive with just occasional irrigation.

All plants are irrigated with high efficiency inline drip irrigation, and every bed is mulched, except for a small area where we hope native bees will make their home.

Native plants cover a long slope.  They help attract birds who visit bubbling water features in front and back.

The owners eat lunch every day in their shaded front courtyard which they use as an outdoor dining room. Their home grown fruits and vegetables are often on the menu.

This garden is a delightful space for an absolutely delightful couple.

Project Testimonial

“I had a vision and Nan made it come true. Nan tackled the job of creating four themed gardens for me on our small lot using many unusual plants. Now it is a joy to return home to our welcoming entrance surrounded by the amazing plantings. Past the gated entrance is a private Courtyard, now used as an extension to our home. Most days we have our lunch here in the midst of the tropical garden and fountain. Nan created the tropical atmosphere using Bromeliads, showcased in large pots, with bold plantings and intriguing shrubs.

Nan was involved in all phases of our landscaping project (hard scape, patio substrate, pathways, retaining walls, fencing, decking and fountains) and she was key in the garden design, choosing all the plant material and deciding how the garden should flow around the house. She also designed the shade feature.

Nan continues to stay in contact, sharing her wisdom, finding new plants as needed, patiently answering my many questions about the garden and even making visits. I am fortunate to have found Nan and I appreciate her continued support.”

Gail Theilacker

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