April 09, 2007

Current Project- Tiburon

Replacing an old wood wall, we are in the process of installing this Versa-Lok Mosaic retaining wall.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2007

Current Project- Tiburon Clean up

From a current project in Tiburon, where we are clearing out an old concrete patio and trees to prepare for a new stone patio and retaining walls. The removal of the vegetation helped open up a great view.

View to Belvedere and San Francisco

Vegetation and Patio Removal

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2007

Mizubachi Water Feature

Here are some installed photos of the black granite Mizubachi Water Feature from Stone Forest that was just installed for a current project. The 30" rock weighed about a ton and had to be set in place with a telescoping forklift and then leveled for even flow across the stone.

The hookup for this water feature was fairly straight forward- the recirculating pump has a timer that controls on and off times, a filler valve connected to the irrigation system to automatically refill the reservoir, and a bypass valve connected to a drain inlet to empty the reservoir.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2007

Current Project- Larkspur Seeded Aggregate

This project in Larkspur is having seeded aggregate walkways and patios installed with bluestone accents. The Mexican pebble stone combined with the bluestone makes a good complementary paving match.

Forming and Rebar for Front Walkways

Forming and Rebar for Rear Patio

Seeded Aggregate Mexican Pebble with Formed Strips for Bluestone Inserts

Seeded Aggregate Mexican Pebble Patio

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2007

Current Project- Stonework

Current construction photos of Cold Water Canyon stone walls and concrete pathways with bluestone accents being installed. The boxed wall will receive the water feature detailed in this post.


Seating wall square around which Mizubachi black granite water feature will be installed

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2007

Current Project Mill Valley

Versa-Lok Mosaic retaining wall going up in this small back yard in Mill Valley. The weathered mosaic definitely creates a softer look than traditional Versa-Lok standard blocks.

Sierra Color Versa-Lok Mosaic Wall

Traditional Standard Versa-Lok Wall

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2006

Current Project- Block Wall

In construction- A split faced concrete block wall to hold back and create room for a new garage and driveway

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2006

Current Project- Arbor

Here is an image of a completed arbor for a current project. This secondary area was designed as a separate destination away from the house. The painted heavy timber arbor is tied into stone pillars, surfaced with Sonoma Fieldstone veneer and capped with bluestone. The back edged of the arbor are enclosed with seat walls with similar treatment.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2006

Revisited Project- San Rafael

Here are a couple of photographs from a project in San Rafael that was installed 4 years ago. The project included a front entrance bluestone walkway, plantings, urn fountain and entrance gate in the front yard. The interior yard featured a bluestone entryway, lawn, wood retaining wall and railing, and plantings.

Entrance Gate, planted with Bougainvillea

Entry Bluestone Walkway and Fountain

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2006

Current Project- Novato Intimate Garden

This is a project for a new home in Novato. As is frequently the case, the residence is on a hillside and the space in the back yard is limited. The design for this project sought to create a usable back patio space, leaving room for an Asian themed border planting.

Custom Stone Fountain

Curvilinear colored concrete patio

Creeping Fig vines to help soften the existing retaining wall and Asian themed plantings with Japanese Forest Grass, Japanese Maple, and variegated Liriope as featured plantings

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2006

Revisited Project- San Rafael

I stopped by a project in San Rafael today that we installed earlier this year. It is always fun to watch landscapes mature and grow into full development. This is one of the allures of the garden, that it grows and becomes better with age. This landscape is about at 8-9 months old. The grasses and perennials have really grown in during this time, the larger shrubs take 1-3 years to start to have a significant impact.

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Posted by Michael O'Connell at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2006

Current Project- Novato

We are wrapping up this project in Novato, a renovation of an existing back yard landscape to create more usable area and better transition spaces. We pushed the spa and retaining wall back into the hillside to create more space, planting the back hillside and expanded the lawn and flagstone walkways.

Before- The previous spa configuration, while not unattractive, created unusable lawn space and cramped the back yard

Before- The flagstone walkway that was existing was cramped by the lawn and spa configuration

The old spa pad was moved from the center of the yard to the edge of the yard, creating more open usable space. The hillside was planted with groundcovers and colorful perennials to open up views from the interior and improve on the bare hillside.

The existing flagstone was matched to tie in a seamless appearance with the old patio.

The spa was pushed back into the hillside, creating more usable space within the yard.

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2006

Work in Progress- Greenbrae Project

We are getting ready to pour a concrete slab for the patio terrace for this project in Greenbrae. Good concrete preparation always has a stable bed of compacted base rock gravel, suitable rebar reinforcement for the slab, and well defined and constructed formwork.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2006

Novato Project & Seeded Concrete Finishes

We just finished pouring a concrete walkway and pad for a project in Novato. The concrete finish we used we a seeded aggregate. There are several different options for seeded aggregate, both in terms of the stone that is seeded, and the size of the stone seeded.

Example of stone on pathway we just completed- 3/4" Red River aggregate

Seeding in progress- stones are broadcast and then embedded into the surface of the concrete. The concrete is washed away to reveal the packed stones at the surface.

Seeding completed- 3/8" smaller Pami Pebble aggregate

Example of another aggregate stone- Salmon 3/4"

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2006

Progress Images- Greenbrae Project

Here are some continuing photos of a new landscape project in Greenbrae. The excavation, forms and footings have been completed and the block walls are under construction for a new patio terrace.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2006

Progress Images- Novato Project

Here are some progress images from a project under construction in Novato. We are taking an existing retaining wall and pushing it back into the hillside to create more space in a compact backyard.


Posted by Michael O'Connell at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2006

Completed Project- Tiburon

Here are some final images from a project we have just completed in Tiburon. It is interesting to see the pieces fit together, as the landscape was installed at the same time the custom home construction was being completed.

Flagstone Steps descending from Main Patio Level to Lawn

Rear view of the house and landscape

Side Patio, Flagstone Path, Cedar Perimeter Fence, Plantings

Rear Lawn and Cable Fence

Front Entry Path, Lawn, and Large Box Mayten Trees

Reverse view of Front Yard

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2006

New Project- Greenbrae

Here is a new project in Greenbrae, where we are going to be installing retaining walls, and a patio on a terraced hillside. Check back for updates as the project progresses.

Before Clean-up

Before Clean-up

Wall Excavation

Hillside Clean-up, Starting Wall Foundations

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2006

Progress Images- Tiburon Project

We are getting close to wrapping up this large project in Tiburon. I will post final images once we are finished.

Large Back Lawn and Patio areas

Side Yard- Plantings and Flagstone Paths

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 08:34 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2006

Tiburon Project- Box Trees

Here is an image of two 48" box Mayten trees (that can be seen making it off the truck in this post). These trees have a great weeping habit, similar to a Willow, but with less mess and smaller scale suited for residential applications. These large box trees make a great signature statement at the front of the residence.


Posted by Michael O'Connell at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

Progress Images- Moving Box Trees

We are taking advantage of the dry weather to bring in some box trees on a current project in Tiburon. These 36" & 48" box trees can be a bit of a challenge to move; we are using a 4 wheel drive construction forklift with a 6000 pound lifting capacity. 48" box trees can weigh between 3000-4000 pounds a piece making this type of equipment a must.




Posted by Michael O'Connell at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2006

Tiburon Project Progress Images III

We are continuing work on this project in Tiburon, mucking through a wet March and early April.

Trenching for irrigation before walkways are installed

Framing for cable fence along bay shore

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2006

Recent Plantings- Downtown San Rafael

Here are some images from a project with some small border plantings in San Rafael. This was the first phase of a larger garden project.

Screening from closely situated neighbors was important for this property. Here Italian Buckthorn (Rhamnus alaturus), is used to screen with an understory of Australian Rosemary (Westringea 'Morning Light').

In the deep shade between two buildings, a redwood trellis was built for a Star Jasmine, (Trachelospermum jasminoides), combined with Camellia Espalliers (Camellia sasanqua) for up against the adjacent building. The understory was planted with Liriope, Hakone Grass, Coral Bells and other shade lovers.

Along the street frontage tough Day Lilies were used with other ornamental grasses including Jack Spratt New Zealand Flax and species of Carex. The rock borders were recycled from an existing rock wall onsite.

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 05:55 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2006

Tiburon Project- Progress Images

Here are some new images from a current project in Tiburon, showing completed cedar perimeter fencing.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 07:26 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2006

Progress Images- Tiburon Project

Here are some progress images of the framing for a perimeter fence on a current project in Tiburon. The cedar fencing uses 6x6 posts and 4x6 framing that gives a nice solid appearance.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2006

New Project- Tiburon

We are excited to be working with Caletti Construction on a new construction project in Tiburon. The new custom home and garden has an interesting design with some very beautiful materials detailing. I will post progress images here as the project starts to come together.

A progressive look at the house construction can be viewed on the Caletti website.



Posted by Michael O'Connell at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2006

San Rafael Project- Completed Images

Here is a follow up to the first two rounds (Progress 1 & Progress 2) of images I posted from a current job in San Rafael. We have completed work with the installation of two additional concrete pads to match the existing pathway and facilitate access along the driveway.

Final Lawn, New Pathway Sections & Copper Lights


Wire Trellis with Pink Jasmine Vine

View to the Front Entry

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 06:59 PM | Comments (2)

February 01, 2006

Recent Project- San Rafael: Before and After

Here are images of a recently completed project in San Rafael. The client wanted to increase usable living space for this hillside residence. Work included moving back and replacing the existing brick retaining wall, replacing existing decking, and installing an outdoor kitchen.


After- New Retaining Wall, Lawn and Bluestone Patio


After- Bluestone Capped Retaining Wall, Lawn, Perimeter Fencing


After- Manufactured Stone Veneer Retaining Wall, Outdoor Kitchen


After- Planter Box with Manufactured Stone Veneer

Posted by Michael O'Connell at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2006

Progress Images- San Rafael Project II

Here is a follow up to the first round of images I posted from a current job in San Rafael, as we progress into the planting phase of work. These images show plantings laid out waiting client approval. We have this review step so that any changes that need to be made to the plan can be done before the plants go in the ground.




Posted by Michael O'Connell at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2006

Current Project- San Rafael

Here are some photographs from a project currently under construction in San Rafael. It features a large serpentine Sonoma Fieldstone retaining wall that will create a lawn terrace with plantings and trees to be installed along the street frontage.

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Posted by Michael O'Connell at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)