Landscape and Garden Design by Robert Kourik

Garden Examples (all in Northern California)

Bodega Harbor, Sonoma County

These clients wanted to have lots of color in their garden, so they got it. The bright orange of the English wallflower (Erysimum cheri) and the Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ provide the color along the driveway. Both bloom nearly all year. They live in a coastal-fog zone and the bright colors seem to glow in the fog. This is a deer- and drought resistant landscape.

Nicasio, Marin County

The wind whips through a low spot west of this garden – on the right side of this photograph. This required low growing plants such as: the green (Santolina virens) and silver-grey santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus) in the foreground, various lavenders (Lavandula sp.) in the middle, the Artemisia cultivar ‘Powis Castle’ and a butterfly bush (Buddleja sp.) close the house and a vine maple tree (Acer circinatum) is tucked in the corner were it is protected from the harsh winds.

Sebastopol, Sonoma County 

An attractive deer fence that is only four feet high. Grape stakes form the outer portion of the fence. The inner four-foot high wire fence is hidden by a honeysuckle vine  (Lonicera japonica). The hedge of lavender (Lavandula ‘Munstead’) is both deer- and drought resistant and helps to soften the lower portion of the fence so it seem less massive. This fence has kept the deer out for over 15 years.

Preston Vineyards, Sonoma County

This view of an edible landscape for the owners of a winery shows the raised boxes required to keep out pesky gophers (the boxes have wire bottoms) and to provide good drainage for early planting in the spring. A mature orange tree provides a glorious backdrop in this view of the garden.

From this angle you can see a typical planted bed in the early spring. This bed contains oregano (Origanum majorana – also known as Sweet Marjoram) in the foreground, lettuces in the middle, the leaves of chives in the background and outside the bed in the background a vertical rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Both inside and outside the beds were planted with colorful ornamental plants.

The view visitors have of a hedge of lavenders which helps to mask and soften the ridged geometry of he vegetable and herb beds. The lavender hedge (Lavandula ‘Munstead’) also covers the  tubing to the drip system for each box. The lavender also has many culinary uses, not to mention its romantic fragrance. As the lavenders matured, they soon disguised the brick lawn-mower strip.

Green Valley, Sonoma County

This project involved creating an “instant” sense of place and time. A long “spine” of rocks was placed diagonally through the landscape to resemble nearby rock outcroppings. Each stone was individually picked so that its original soil line matched the level of its placement in the landscape.

To the left is a view of the ‘Munstead’ lavender and the California Fuchsia. The Giant Feather Grass (Stipa gigantea) in the background glows like an amber stain-glass window in the late afternoon. On the left are the pink and white blossoms of Guara lindbeimeri.

More pictures of Green Valley

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