Sacramento garden gets a subtle update

Sunset  – November 25, 2004

Garden Renovation: Sacramento, California

To perfect rather than update the 1960s-era garden and home of Loretta Landers was landscape architect Gary Orr’s goal when he took on this garden remodel. “This renovation was so subtle and successful we almost overlooked it,” noted a juror. “This is a wonderful expression of how to maintain a style while greatly improving on it.”

The successful transformation included a face-lift for the house (enlarged column, fresh paint, new door) and a complete remodel of the garden. Offset platforms of pebbled concrete replaced the original straight concrete walkway. Black stucco retaining walls with randomly placed square insets cut across the garden. A similar wall, 5 feet tall with square cutouts, screens the living room window from passersby and serves as a handsome backdrop for plants. Large sculptural boulders decorate the porch and planting bed under the existing birches.

The ’60s style may not appeal to everyone, noted one juror, but here it is exceptionally well done.

Designer: Gary Orr, Orr Design Office, Sacramento (916/441-4500)

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