Our friends Veena and Mani have a gorgeous home right here in the South Bay. They moved into their new home a few years ago, and though their home went through a major renovation right before they moved in, the previous owners left the backyard untouched. Their landscape is huge. It has a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a very large circular driveway at the entrance.
However this landscape was lacking in character. It needed a personal touch, a gardener’s personal touch that is. And that is exactly what Veena and Mani did. Give this large expanse of a garden their own unique perspective. This massive re-landscaping of their outdoor space took more than a year to accomplish, and the end result is something spectacular.
They had a pool in need of repair, a backyard that was overgrown with bushes, and trees that were hiding the beautiful terraced landscape. There was no color to speak of, and weeds had taken over the garden. With all the overgrown and neglected bushes that were in plenty, it really was hard to tell that their garden had a lovely terrace design and a gorgeous natural-stone retaining wall. Below is the landscape that Veena and Mani were working with.
I was invited to see their final garden re-design, and what a phenomenal garden it has been transformed into. What I noticed right away is the clean manicured lines of their tiered backyard. When one steps into their backyard now, the graceful multi-level garden is what catches our eyes. Their garden transformation is fabulous.
The beautiful retaining wall in all these pictures was already there but with overgrown vines and bushes I somehow never noticed it on my previous visits. With this new landscape design I actually noticed the gorgeous stonework and the beauty of this weathered-stone retaining wall that winds up and all around the garden.
When Veena and Mani bought their new home it had a swimming pool in need of desperate upgrade. It looked like something out of the 70s.
After an extensive cleanup and a complete revamp, the pool now has an azure blue floor that reflects the gorgeous blue California sky to perfection. With a clean limestone tiled patio that wraps around the pool, the newly re-claimed pool and covered patio looks like it belongs in a resort in Mexico.
An espaliered tree on the long trellis on their pool patio is a fruiting pear tree. This tree is a legacy feature that Veena and Mani decided to keep.
Plenty of newly placed walking stones laid down all over the landscape make it easy to stroll through this updated garden.
Newly built raised beds for veggies look great with stone gravel at their base. A Wine Country like feel came to mind when I saw this veggie patch.
What is not hard to miss in this beautiful backyard is the new gazebo. It’s hard to believe that what you see in the photo below got transformed into what you see now.
The new gazebo makes a majestic and inviting focal point in Veena and Mani’s garden. A little elevated and highlighted with bright flowers that circle the gazebo, it is hard to miss this beautiful structure.
Gorgeous yellow rudbeckia, coreopsis, red and purple penstemon, and blue delphiniums surround the gazebo adding a splash of wonderful color against the backdrop of lush green grass.
At the back of the gazebo are newly planted fruit trees including fig, peach, nectarine, and apple trees. In this same area Veena has planted loads of rose bushes too.
You know what is the coolest feature in this backyard? I loved this gravel design that Veena called a Labyrinth. Veena said, “It is called a Labyrinth or something along those lines. When I was looking for ideas I saw gardens where they have done this using different materials to create the design. I see that wikipedia has a good write up on that as to how it comes from Greek mythology and so on. Since the place where I was considering I could not really make the same shape as a traditional labyrinth we just went with our own design. But the Labyrinth is what gave me the idea to create this design in this area of our garden. “
Veena’s idea was to create an area where she could update the plants seasonally with annuals and bulbs, and this labyrinth seemed like an innovative way to do that. I’ve seen this labyrinth with spring daffodils, summer petunias, and pansies at different times of the year.
What I really like in Veena and Mani’s new garden is the wonderful splash of flower color. The best part of all this color is the use of common perennials that you can find at any nursery. These tried and true plants look great the way Veena and Mani have planted them in their garden. These humble plants are made to stand out as little focal points.
Million bells, rudbeckia, penstemons, lantanas, and petunias are all easily available at the local nursery, and here they were being used in ways that make them look like stars and like something special.
When I visited Veena with my Dad this past spring Veena proudly showed me sweet peas!! I had posted an article on sweet peas a few months earlier and encouraged folks to plant the seeds in the fall for sweet smelling sweet peas in the spring. After reading my article Veena said she went out and bought a few sweet pea seeds and planted them in a shady corner of her garden. Come April these seeds became hefty vines with gorgeous sweet peas blooming and brightening up that corner of her garden. Pretty Cool!
Veena and Mani’s garden re-design is a treat for the eyes. Even more impressive is how they designed it all on their own. Both are avid gardeners and enjoy spending lots of time outside.
More pictures of Veena & Mani’s Garden Re-design:
Front Entrance and Circular Driveway
Side driveway and kitchen patio:
Veena and Mani’s new garden has their signature personal touch – lots of flowers, lots of fruit trees, and plenty to keep them busy working in their garden for hours. A garden worthy of being called Veena and Mani’s garden.