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The Pequeño Paraiso Garden – Designers Gawlista & Baptista

Homeowners John and Dorcas Gawlista initially sought help from designer Izzy Baptista in creating a more visible and friendly front entrance. “The entire entrance was hidden by a huge Japanese holly along with some other plants and an overgrown camellia. From the street one could see only a prominent driveway and the garage door.” The front garden also needed some editing: removing overgrown “thugs” and plants that looked great for a month or so before becoming an eyesore the rest of the year. Together, Izzy, Dorcas, and John (a landscape contractor) set to work.

Stacked stone garden beds, beautiful paver work, and a solid, nicely proportioned pergola helped solve many of the issues: connecting the house to the garden, adding a vertical element to the predominantly horizontal lines of the house, and providing privacy to the large kitchen window. Judicious pruning of existing shrubbery to highlight their form, reshaping the lawn, and adding colorful perennials, grasses, and plants with year round interest also helped create a more welcoming and lush entrance.

The large back garden was the next area to be addressed. Though already a quiet haven for growing edibles and raising chickens, the family wanted to create a more comfortable, practical, and sustainable space. Izzy added a new gravel path and woodland plantings creating an enjoyable journey from the house, through the scaled-back lawn, to John’s workspace in the far back. From the clean, modern sitting area adjacent to the covered patio, to the casual bocce court, the creation of these additional outdoor living spaces have helped the Gawlistas to more fully utilize and enjoy their expansive back garden.

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