Recently I came across an article that gave some insight into Landscape Design, Architecture and Design-Build and I wanted to share some of that article with you today.

This article states that, in Britain, home to some of the worlds foremost historic examples of successful Landscape Architecture and Design and the home of The Institute of Landscape Architects. When this body was founded many Garden Designs,( known here as Landscape Designers) joined the Institution only to later leave over disagreements concerning profits derived from plants and materials, which was unfortunate. This separation lead to two very similar professions with at times a very blurred distinction on how they differ which still is evident today.

The article also went on to say that Landscape Design can be included as one of the fine arts, which I thought was a very accurate and complimentary remark.  It also speaks to the profession of Design-Builds and how they enjoy little popularity amongst Designer and Architects. For Design-Builds often are known for cutting standards and saving money, which is a result of a builder lacking both technique and aesthetic judgment. The article also mentioned how Designers and Architects should re-assume the leadership role in the construction industry. Providing clients the right design product in the right place at the right cost.

Just a little food for thought that I felt you might enjoy.

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If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a piece of art that doubles as on outdoor space please contact us at 619.917.3644

Here in San Diego we are all very aware of the danger wildfires can pose on our dry chaparral woodlands. With many of us living along the rims and in the valleys of San Diego’s many canyon need to be well prepared and do what we can to reduce the risk of wildfires. One great place to start is in the landscape, with proper defensible space management and plant selection any homeowner can create a strong first line of defense in protection your home.

Keeping trees away from structures, planting only low fuel plants, clearing out gutters, keep plants limbs up of the ground and maintaining proper spacing are all ways one can help to mitigate the risk of wildfires.  Proper plant selection is also very important, seek out plants with low oil and high water content.  Many natives and succulents fit will into this category, plus they are often easy to maintain and beautiful.

By following simple guidelines and selecting plants based on their fire rating you can help reduce the risk that wildfires in your neighborhood.

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If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a fire safe outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

Gardening in San Diego comes with a handful of challenges when discussing soil. Often plants not accustom to our soil type need some help getting all the needed nutrients naturally without the help of fertilizers. The benefits of fertilizer should be fairly clear, however not all fertilizers are the same. All fertilizer provided your plants with one or more elements needed to grow and not one type of fertilizer is the best choice in every situation. Continue reading

Edible gardening is becoming more and more popular with each passing season and for good reason. Its more then just the benefit of growing your own food, its more then the health benefits that comes from not only eating healthier but the exercises that working in the garden provides, its also in part that if designed correctly they can be pretty to look at as well. Continue reading

Sustainable furniture is all part of creating an environmentally friendly space indoor or out.

One company that I am very excited about is Environmental Furniture Their work is really designed for the indoor use but I cant wait to use their products in a open concept floor plan where rooms merge seamlessly with the outdoors. Imagine a bedroom with one of Environmental Furniture beds looking out a set of glass according doors to a landscape full of greenery and a beautiful water feature.

Please take a look at the website and you will quickly see how, not only how beautiful but environmentally friendly their line of products are. For if your looking to redo you lifestyle inside and out to aline with the “green” movement don’t forget the furniture and of course the landscape.

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If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create an environmentally friendly design for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644


Landscape Design along the coast here in San Diego comes with a few challenges but also some great opportunities as well. Not only does the coastal environment come with a chance to create a strong sense of place with giant clam shell and driftwood turned into succulent planters along with the swaying movement of ornamental grasses. But we can also look to incorporate native plants such as Cleveland Sage, Island Snapdragon, and Sand verbena which have evolved to handle the harsh conditions found along the coast. Non native plants that are not invasive such as Coast rosemary, Echeveria and Aeoniums stand up nicely to the salt, sun and wind often found along the shore.

When planting along the coast its always best to seek out plants that have grown locally to thrive in theses demanding conditions or to find imports that share similar characteristics. As always stay away from invasive plants that will likely escape your property and out compete local native plants communities.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a beautiful outdoor space with a coastal theme please contact us at 619.917.3644


The owners of this Spanish Revival home in Kensington were looking to transform their sloping backyard into multiple usable entertaining spaces. They wanted a landscape that would better showcase the home’s architecture while taking into consideration the unique challenges the property faced. We were able to replace the slope with a large dining  area and separate sunken seating area with it own re-circulation water feature. A tapestry of plant materials that are not only highly aesthetic but help to define each area were also added. Two large olive trees as well as a custom trellis further help to unite the space while defining boundaries. Through the use of saltillo and talavera tile we further enhanced the warmth by creating built-in rugs and riser details. This home now has the additional square feet needed for entertaining while addressing the unusable slope in a manner befitting the stunning architectural details of the home. Designed in collaboration with SOD. Continue reading

These homeowners were in need of a outdoor space that would allow them more space to grow edibles while maintaining the rich charm of their stunning California Craftsman style home. This was accomplished by removing a under utilized lawn and replaced it with raised vegetable beds and fruit trees.  To ensure a successful crop we surrounded the beds with aesthetically pleasing fencing and gate with subtle California Craftsman style details. We also created two new seating areas to enjoy the sun throughout the day.  In keeping with the driving principals of California Craftsman movement they can grow more of what they eat while enriching the beauty of the stunning home.

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