3513 Rosewood Avenue

The front yard lawn was brown and flat, great for Frisbee, not much else. This was five years ago. One partner was searching for a career where she could use her talents/vision as an artist, trading in the brush for a shovel and fingers in the dirt.  The other had a desire to assuage unrest in a searching soul. This is how the zero-landscape front yard came to be. Over a few months, they installed a yard of many drive-by photos!

The backyard is a different design, complimentary and unique as the front, though created based on many conversations with friends, kids, and other designers. It has play area, art space, quiet nooks, patio and outdoor shower that water the veggie and berry gardens. It is a fun yard to be in if you are a kid or grownup!  

Interestingly 80% of the landscape plants and materials for both yards were given to them from gardens of friends. The rocks were found gifts from the 210 Freeway. Many a day trip was made to special areas to drag 100 lb rocks with just the right coloring and shape into the car. It truly became a fetish!

Plant list in front yard:   Most plants are drought tolerant, Manzanita, weeping Mexican bamboo, ceonothus, agave, firecracker, various succulents, pompus grass. There are also two Palo Verde trees which let light through and soften the landscape. In the back yard there is a vegetable garden, blackberry bushes, blueberries, Mexican Weeping bamboo, succulents,

The plants draw plenty of wild hummingbirds, butterflies, cicadas, praying mantis, bees, and birds etc.

In the front yard they do not irrigate, in the back yard the outdoor shower irrigates the gardens.

Christine Wiseman - Front yard Design, located Northern California
Yvonne Suter - Dwell by Design, drawings, back yard. She will be there the day of the tour. She is a local Landscape designer who has done many properties in the area that are quite stunning.


  1. Mexican bamboo is really really invasive. It is also known as knotweed. It gets into the wild and chokes out natives. Be really careful where you plant it. It will come up all over your yard if you don't keep beating it back. Look it up before planting. Yeah it's low water but it has it's drawback. Also in some states it's illegal to plant.

  2. That is definitely true with many - maybe most - types of bamboo. I grew up with it in our yard when I was a kid and have painful memories of digging up the feeders. But there are clumping bamboos that don't do that at all. I have Mexican Weeping Bamboo in my yard now which canopies and stays exactly where it is meant to be. I love the privacy it provides as it screens our yard from the house next door that is practically on top of ours. It took watering to establish but now gets the same minimal watering that we give our California natives and other drought tolerant plants.