We just wanted to share a few pictures with you of one of are latest projects. It’s a great casual seating and dinning area for an amazing beach home in Point Loma.

Take a look, and we hope you enjoy it. If you would be interested in Cleator Landscape Design helping to transform your outdoor space please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 12.27.06 PMWe here at Cleator Landscape Design are proud to report that we have been selected as the “Best of Houzz” for 2016. Only 3% of professionals on Houzz.com earn this prestigious award.

Please take a look at our Houzz profile and if you are interested in having Cleator Landscape Design create a amazing outdoor space for your property please feel free to contact us at 619.917.3644

For any of you who missed our article in San Diego Magazine here you go.

Also we wanted to thank all of our clients and supporters for a another great year and to a prosperous 2016. Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 2.43.35 PM

When it comes to high quality decking people often ask me the differences between Ipe, Teak and Mangaris. I thought I would help shine some light on the topic with this post.

Ipe or Brazilian Walnut are the common names for over 20 different species of Tabebuia spp.  It is an amazingly dense hardwood with a beautiful dark walnut color. It’s very difficult to work with due to its dense nature but it can withstand the elements better then most anything else. It approximately eight time harder then California Redwood, meaning that it earns high marks against termites, mold, rot and even fire. But all the beauty and durability comes at a cost.

Teak or Tectona grandis is another superb choice. It often has a nice yellow brown color but can be found in a rich brown as well. It will age to a nice soft uniform gray if let untreated, but does require upkeep to prevent this color change. It is about three times softer the Ipe so working it is a bit easier but it still stands up to the elements very well.

Mangaris comes in a few varieties such as Red Mangaris or Dipterocarpaceae spp. to Diamond Mangaris which come from Intsia spp. Red Managris offer clients a beautiful red color similar to Mahogany with a very dense grain structure approaching Ipe.  Diamond Mangaris with a denseness rating similar to Teak  but the coloration of Ipe is another option.

I hope this post helps you make a choice when it come to which lumber is the right choice for your upcoming outdoor space.

teak decking

teak decking

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design design a custom lumber element for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

As we entry into August here is San Diego now is a good time to take care of your mid summer landscape chores. One big chore this time of year is to check for leaks along your drip irrigation lines before your plants dry out completely and die. I also recommend that you prune all sucker growth off your deciduous fruit trees as well as giving your roses a light summer pruning to help them get ready for the coming fall weather. If you compost now would be the time to water your compost pile a bit, the dampness helps the beneficial bacterial do the dirty work, you should also be turning the pile every week or so to help speed up the process. If you still have some lawn now is the time to dethatch  if the thatch is thicker then half an inch. I recommend using a dethatching mower or dethacthing rake followed by reseeding the area and add a organic fertilizer. These tips should help get you through the coming month.

thatch

If you are interested in having Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful low maintenance outdoor space for your home please contact us at 619.917.3644

Here in San Diego our landscapes are (or should be) an extension of our homes. With increasing temperatures and prolonged drought getting outside and finding some shade to relax is as important as ever, for we need to take stock in just how amazing nature is so we can make the strides to protect it. One great way to increase your use of your outdoor space is through outdoor seating, this vital component to outdoor living can come in many forms. A simple Adirondack chair under a Chinese Elm tree can make a simple yet strong statement, as can built in seats around a water or fire feature. No mater your style or budget everyone should incorporate some place to sit outside and enjoy nature.  Here is a collection of outdoor seating that will get you excited for your own.

If you are interested in Cleator Landscape Design creating a beautiful outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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11 trillion gallons of water is what California needs to offset the current drought. That would take 3 years of higher then normal rainfall to offset our depleted reserves and with only about 1 year of water currently in storage its clear that we need to eliminate lawns and water thirsty plants now as in today, right now. The state has imposed numerous restrictions including limiting the number of days you can irrigate to two days and you cant water for two days after rain events. Its clear that we are in serious peril, with snow packs are all but gone, lakes and reservoir shrinking and ground water being depleted from 1200′ wells.  Its going to be a nightmare when taps run dry in the coming years and we face a massive water crisis. That’s the bad news, so what can we do now in San Diego to help reduce the pressure we put on our limited water? Well  when it comes to the landscape for starters no more lawns at all, none. Second is to plant low water use plants, use mulch as needed to help conserve soil moisture and install a water efficient irrigation system with a weather and rain sensor as well as capture as much rainfall as possible. If that all seems to difficult we could always reroute the entire daily output of the Amazon river basin into the state of California and let it run non stop for nearly two days to make up all the water we are missing.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a low water use landscape for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

Amazon river discharge seen from space

Amazon river discharge seen from space

 

 

I know it doesn’t feel much like winter at the moment despite what the calendar reads, but its still nice to know that even during our brutal San Diego winters our gardens don’t need to be a bore. Winter interest can come in many forms but the one that suits us best here in our Mediterranean climate is color. Aloes are a surefire way to do just that, yes other kinds of succulents and herbaceous plants will bloom this time of year but consistent showoffs are the aloes. From the common Aloe arborescens to the larger Aloe Goliath to the much smaller Aloe maculata, aloes bring a burst of reds, oranges and yellows to your landscape when many plants aren’t at their best. Along with the benefit of color you will also be providing a real treat to our local hummingbirds which love the intense blooms of these superb drought tolerant plants. So when it comes to designing a true xeriscape year around garden, don’t fail to included a few aloes for the will surely brighten the bleakest of San Diego winters days.

If you are interested in creating a drought tolerant outdoor space, please feel free to contact Cleator Landscape Design at 619.917.3644

Aloe winter bloom

Landscaping design in San Diego can mean different things to different people, but the common thread is drought resistant. For good reason, we are in the midst of a serious drought and with all the other factors such as increasing regional temperatures and population growth we must do what we can to save every drop. I’m not promoting we all leave with barren landscapes, far from it. Properly landscaped areas help reduce run off, cool surround air, give wildlife a home, and clean the air among many other wonderful things we all need to survive. So today I wanted to  share with you a few San Diego appropriate plants that you can incorporate into your garden.

California Fushia with its scarlet flowers which hummingbirds adore and it ability to handle tough conditions, its a real standout.

Matilija Poppy has large white blooms with the feel of paper mache, great drainage is a must.

Deer Grass is a beautiful native grass that can handle a wide array of conditions without missing a beat.

Cleveland Sage is another native that displays great blueish purple flowers while provided a nice aroma.

Coyote Bush is a “go to” plant for the worst conditions you have to face here in San Diego.

All these plants plus many others can beautify your without putting additional strain on our environment.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful outdoor space that is easy on the environment, please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Continuing on the theme from last week about the newly implemented water restrictions here in San Diego, this week we will discuss what to do if you find yourself with a higher then expected water bill.

The most common reason for a higher then normal water bill is pretty straight forward, you used more water. With more then half of a typical residents water being used on their landscape other areas despite being a much smaller percentage can add up. Think back and see if you can remember what might have caused that, did you have guest staying at your place, did your child move home for the summer, these will cause a rise in usage. The second most common is a leak, even if they are small when left unattended they can be costly. Often they are in the irrigation system and the best way to find out is to search for an abnormally wet spot as well as visually inspect each head on each zone for a broken or missing part. If you are looking for a leak not associated with your irrigation system the best way to do that is to turn off the water to your home and all water using appliances. Read the meter and then again 15 min later, if the dial has not moved you don’t have a leak. If the dial moved then start inspection faucets, and toilets if you don’t find anything the leak is in a underground pipe and you will need to call a plumber. The third and least likely reason behind a increased water bill is reader error. While this is unlikely its possible, visual read your meter yourself and compare the findings to what they billed you for.

Like I have mentioned before, I highly recommend transforming your landscape from water thirsty plants to more climate appropriate plants schemes, but I believe we should all do whatever we can to limit water usage in all aspects of our lives and being aware of ones overall water usage and how to detect a leak is a great way to be water smart.

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If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help create a drought tolerant outdoor space for your property, please contact us at 619.917.3644

New San Diego permanent and Level 1 water restrictions went into place on July 1st, and they have many people asking “what changed”. Well if you follow this blog and our environmentally conscience then the answer is not much.

Some of the items are pretty simple and you probably have been doing for years. Such as dont water between 10:00am and 6:oo pm, dont use a hose to wash down sidewalks, fountains need a recirculating pump, dont water when its raining, and my favorite limiting the use of fire hydrants to fire fighting.

We all need to be aware of the drought and limit our use of water wherever we can. I personally feel that we should take it upon ourselves to not only follow the new regulations but take it another step further and be a example in our community on how to really curb our dependance on water. Great ways to do so are removing lawns and thirsty plants, installing a smart irrigation system, run dishwasher and other water using appliances only when full, use gray water where possible, capture what rainfall we do get and many other things that can save water and hopefully get others to do the same.

water restrictions

If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help with creating a beautiful low water use outdoor space for you, please contact us at 619.917.3644

Here in San Diego and throughout much of California we are able to grow a wide range of  beautiful trees for our outdoor spaces, but if your looking for a native standout you may find yourself stumped. One great family of native trees are the Oaks, in our area some that do especially well are the Coastal Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, Black Oak, Canyon Live Oak and the Scrub Oak.  If you are looking to grow your own iconic California tree I recommend planting your acorns right after the first rain of the season (typically in November) in a site with great drainage. Place the acorn on its side in a hole about as wide and deep as your hand, cover with about an inch of soil. Due to the fact that most critters like to harvest acorns its best to protect them with a small diameter metal screen for the first few years. Let the rain help with the watering chores however its best to give them a few drinks during the summer for the first few years to help them along. In time you will have your own iconic tree to be enjoyed by future generations.

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

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