Berkeley Hills Entry Garden

About This Project

This Berkeley hills home was overdue for a facelift. The front porch was settling due to erosion at the foundation. The brick retaining wall and stairs were cracked and crumbling. After suffering a twisted ankle on the front stairs our client realized it was time to make repairs.

The decision was made to integrate the walls, stairs, and walkways into one structure. We selected cast in place concrete as the material for the structure.
An architectural board form detail on the vertical face of the retaining walls brought a modern aesthetic to the work.

We faced another challenge with a set of public stairs that ran along the property line. To make the space feel more private and tranquil we constructed a redwood fence to serve as a solid barrier and planted shrubby yew pine behind. Yew pine, also known as podocarpus, is known for its dense foliage, making it an excellent choice for creating a green screen and enhancing privacy.

The foundation of the garden design was the selection of greenery that forms the backdrop for the vibrant colors. We incorporated evergreen shrubs with perennials and grasses to maintain a year-round appeal. This diverse greenery creates a harmonious canvas upon which the complementary colors stand out.

We integrated yellow flowers to infuse energy and brightness into the garden and placed them strategically to create focal points and enhance the visual interest. The yellow blooms add a touch of warmth, creating a dynamic contrast with the cooler tones of green and purple.

In addition to the front yard renovation, our team installed a new patio and fences in the backyard as well a new drainage system for the entire site. The use of 1 x 8 rough redwood boards ripped into various widths provided a distinctive and textured finish to the property line fence.

We selected belgard pavers, specifically the Cambridge Cobble for the side and backyard to introduce a durable surface and cohesive and polished look. Our choice of color, Riviera, complements the overall color palette of the property, creating a harmonious visual flow between different outdoor areas.

We installed a 16-foot steel guardrail and a 15-foot free-standing handrail, both primed and painted in black, to add a modern and sleek element to the property. For exterior metalwork we prefer properly primed and painted steel to powder-coating.
Steel was chosen for its durability and contemporary aesthetic. The black color not only provides a bold contrast but also integrates well with various design elements on this property.