Water features are a great way to tie a landscape together, but how best to do that during a drought like the one we are experiencing here in San Diego. Water features (fire elements as well) are great at bringing people into a outdoor space and helping to get them to stay and linger a while, they don’t need to be elaborate but they do need to be water conscience. Gone are the days of wild abandon when it comes to water features (think Niagara Falls in your backyard) now we want to use water sparingly. A simple recirculating basin, pump and timer connected to water tight urn or natural stone basin can do the trick. Placing such an element in the sight line from indoors or the entrance into the outdoor space along with nearby seating can help entice further exploration. Be sure to match the size and style of water feature to your home and landscape. Not only will you benefit from the addition of a water feature to your outdoor space but so will local birds.

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

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Here in San Diego we are all aware of just how expensive home are and with such a premium we need to utilize every square inch to its maximum. So no mater the size of your yard you can transform that space from a under utilized cracked concrete slab for example into an extension of your home with some creative idea.  Some quick points to remember are to envision how you want to use the space and how that would pair with your homes style. Then think about what areas you might need to open up or screen off. When it comes to plant and material selection take extra care for they need to be well thought out for each one will have a greater impact then it would in a larger landscape. Don’t forget to look to design accents that will help bring it all together with the home and help draw you into your new outdoor space. These pointers along with a handful of other(we cant give it all away) will help you in creating a small outdoor space that will live larger then it really is.

If you are interested in have Cleator Landscape Design create a outdoor living space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Sometime less is more, and one way to achieve a calming feeling to your landscape is to restrain from using every color under the sun. One such technique is the monochromatic approach, were only one color or one shade of color is used. The most widely available color in landscape design obviously is green, but with all the shades of green from light greens, to gray green, blue and yellow greens and dark greens you can easily create a beautiful outdoor space that provides a relaxing mood to all the entry.

If you are interested in having Cleator Landscape Design design a custom outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here in San Diego as across the world bees are in decline. I know I have spoken about this before, but I found a great little product that you can use to help give these vital pollinators a helping hand. Beside avoiding pesticides in your garden and planting bee friendly plants, you can help out by installing a bee house. Now these great looking homes are constructed out of scrap wood making them even more eco friendly and should be installed on the southwest side of your home with a little protection from the elements. With the ability to visit close to 20 blooms in a minute bees can quickly help get your garden back in shape and blooming like never before, all the while your helping out your garden allies.

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If your looking for to redesign your outdoor space please contact Cleator Landscape Design at 619.917.3644

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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

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Sorry for the extended delay in adding post to this blog, I hope to once again become more active on this site and bring you the latest on Outdoor Living in San Diego.

I just wanted to check back in and comment on the current drought and how we here at Cleator Landscape Design are trying to spread the word on some simple changes that can be made to help ease the pressure residential landscape place on our dwindling water supply.  Last night I spoke to a local woman’s group on some new and exciting plants that works well under drought stress as well as which plants to avoid. It was a overall success and hopeful the lecture will encourage them to not only make those changes to their own landscapes but spread the word on how to landscape under drought conditions. 

If you are interested in reducing your water bill please feel free to contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here in San Diego summer has come to a close, but that in no way means you cant still get out and enjoy all the garden has to offer.

September is still a beautiful month here(we really dont have any bad ones anyways) but its also a great time to do a little yard work. I highly recommend pruning your Pennisteum now so they will have had time to rebound by winter when most gardens could benefit from the movement they provide. Feeding roses one last time along with your established trees and shrubs is another great idea. You can also start buying and planting bulbs such as Daffodil to set early. These are just a few ideas on how to keep your outdoor space humming right along as we traverse out of summer here in San Diego.

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

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Landscape design is an extension of our homes, and that couldn’t be more true then in San Diego.

The style of your home should set the style for the landscape, for either to reach its potential they must work in harmony. If you live in a Spanish revival home your landscape should work to compliment the rustic beauty it possess. Modern architecture with its clean lines should have a landscape that reflects its “controlled restraint”. While a loose open beach bungalow looks most at home in a carefree landscape of grasses and the sweet smell of summer.

Now with that said there are no hard and fast rules, but look around at successful landscapes in magazines and online and you will often see a strong correlation between the style of the home and its landscape.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a landscape that is inline with the architecture of your home, please contact us at 619.917.3644

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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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Here is San Diego we are blessed with a surplus of landscape maintenance companies to select from. However the overwhelming majority of the them are unprofessional and at best a “mow and blow” service. That may be fine for some people, but even the most basic landscape stills needs some level of care. When was the last time you saw an abandoned lot and said “wow look how nice that yard looks”, every yard need looking after.

With the popularity of drought tolerant landscapes people think they are “no maintenance” that is completely false. Yes the may require less maintenance then a formal cottage garden but they still need looking after by a trained individual that has a vested interest in the success of that outdoor space. So please select a maintenance company not on how cheap they are but on successful examples of other property they maintain. Then speak with the homeowners of these projects to see how much of the work they are really doing themselves, you may be surprised that they do all the fine tuning while the gardens do only the mowing and weed pulling.

As the homeowner you take great pride in your property and we both know that you spent a great deal of money to achieve a certain look, the designer too has poured their heart into the success of the space only to have a guy with a mower and blower come wreck the whole thing for $75 bucks a month. No matter how great the design all landscapes can be ruined without proper maintenance, so please pick your maintenance company with as much care as you selected your landscape designer for we are counting on it.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful outdoor space for your property 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.

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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