The Aldrich Company Design Philosophy
Location, Location, Location!
Alidrich Landscapes first looks at the locale of a project. The Santa Barbara region is home to various climates. The coastal communities from Goleta, Isle Vista, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria are very similar to the coastal conditions found in Ventura, Oxnard, Malibu, Pacific Palisades or Santa Monica. However, The Santa Ynez Valley, being in close proximity to Santa Barbara, offers a completely different climate to plan for.
Environmental conditions such as wind, ocean salt air, clay or sandy soil, high heat, freezing temperatures, wild life, sun, shade, dry, wet, mountain terrain, slopes all play into understanding the site in order to design for a successful and lasting garden.
It's Not Your Father's Garden
Given recent environmental awareness in our culture - and with limited resources available, threats of fire and flooding, Landscape Designers are in the forefront of creating gardens using Native Plants, Fire Resistant Plantings, Soil Erosion Control Techniques, Organic Gardening and Sustainable Landscapes Designs to prepare clients for our ‘new age’ of gardening.
When designing a new residential garden (or restoring a ‘tired’ garden), Aldrich Landscapes will take their cue from the architecture style of the home.
In Santa Barbara, a good number of homes are built in the Spanish style, which generally calls for planting a Mediterranean Garden Plant Pallet (Olive trees, palms, citrus trees, lavender, rosemary, etc.).
Because of our temperate climate in Santa Barbara, I may also create Tropical Gardens (Coral trees, Palms, Hibiscus and Canna).
There are a number of Contemporary homes in Santa Barbara. The plant palette for a Contemporary Garden is usually minimal, and more architectural in form (Ficus trees, Flax, lawn or lawn substitute ground covers).
A style never to tired of in Santa Barbara is the English Garden. Roses, Hydrangeas, Boxwood are but a few of the many colorful plants to choose from.
Though not as requested as other styles in the Santa Barbara region, the Asian Garden is a welcome change for the client! Working with Bamboos, Maple trees, Juniper, Azaleas, boulders formations and gravel gives Designers an aesthetic challenge.
Of course inside each of these ‘Theme Gardens,’ are numerous opportunities to design for smaller, more detailed gardens such as Kitchen Gardens, Cutting Gardens, White Gardens, Container Gardens, Butterfly & Bird Gardens, Children’s Play Gardens, Scented Gardens, Rock Gardens.
Santa Barbara residents enjoy year-round outdoor weather, so I can incorporate various structures to allow clients and their families to be outside as much as possible. Pavilions, Pergolas, Arbors, and Gazebos give shade, shelter and add to the architectural style of the project. They define areas for activities such as outdoor dining and living, or fireside relaxation. Green Houses and Sheds have functional uses. Espaliers, Arches and Trellis add detail interest. Gates Walls and Fences help secure homes.
Water, Water Everywhere
The sensuality of listening and seeing water flow is the reason Landscape Designers be sure to make water a part of the garden. Pools, Spas, Fountains, Ponds, Waterfalls and Streams are some of the elements that help to calm the soul. The garden becomes a cool sanctuary in the warm Mediterranean climate.
Landscapers refer to the floors as ‘Hardscape.’ Driveways, Motor-courts, Paths, Steps, Walkways, Patios – all made from Stone, Concrete, Brick, Tile, De-Composed Granite, Bark and other materials. Tastefully done yet with environmentally sensitivity, these areas can be used to control storm water runoff and re-circulate moisture back into the ground.
There is, in Santa Barbara, and the surrounding areas a treasure of plant material to call upon. The Plant Pallet contain Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals, Vegetables, Bulbs, Vines, Ground Covers, Succulents, Orchids & Bromeliads, Ornamental Grasses and Ferns. Alida will use this rich palette to compose a masterpiece garden for the client to enjoy.
The details in a garden complete the picture. Alida is sure to create small vignettes to capture the eye. As well as selecting garden or Patio Furniture, a piece of Sculpture, an Umbrella, a Bench, a Fireplace or a simple Bird Bath add charm – or whimsy.
Even a Drought Resistant Garden requires maintenance. Protect your investment, property value and personal pleasure by taking thoughtful care of your garden.