Splendor in the Grasses


October 5, 2016 by Joan Grabel The grasses are in their flowering glory and what could be more complimentary to Bill Barretts’ Visual Poetry sculpture. The fall wind moves through the flowering grasses creating a sweet rhythmic motion as seen… Read More.


What’s in Bloom – Morphing Into Fall


September 1, 2016 As Santa Fe is transitioning into fall the blue skies and cloud formations have been magnificent and the autumn blooming plants are… Read More


What’s in Bloom: Summer Symphony of Purple


July 1, 2016 By Joan Grabel Although not a complete list of all plants in bloom, this article will feature a few to look for while in the gardens. Featured in the… Read More .


What’s in Bloom Early to Mid-Spring?


By Joan Grabel Although not a complete list of all plants in bloom, this article will feature a few to look for while in the gardens. Featured in the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill: Scientific name: Malus x ‘Radiant’ Common name: ‘Radiant’… Read More.


Houzz Editorial Idea Book

Park Slope Design is featured in an editorial idea book on the homepage of Houzz!


To see the article translated, please click on the following link:


Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin” has new layers of meaning these days. Southern California is in the 4th year of a drought and this seriously influences how I, as a landscape designer, help my clients to reach their vision with responsible design options.The days of sprawling lawns and thirsty plants are over, at least for now, in Southern California and other parts of the country. There are substitutes to organic lawns. Many people have responded to the idea of artificial lawns with an immediate “no” as they thought of the early artificial turf that was introduced in the 1960’s. Over the years artificial turf has evolved and there are high-end brands that look very real. I have clients who welcomed using artificial turf for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:

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After Design/Before Installation

Design is a process. I am starting from the premise that you hired a landscape designer or landscape architect. So now you have your design. The time to make modifications is before the installation begins. If you have hardscape elements in your design, such as a pool, spa, custom BBQ, outdoor kitchen cabinets, counters, patios, pergolas, custom fire and water features my advice is to have the contractor(s) take landscape spray paint and lay out all the elements on the ground in the with the measurements on the landscape design. This way if you have to make any changes to, for example, the size of the patio, you do this before installation begins. You might have decided to buy oversized outdoor furniture for your new patio and perhaps the patio should be enlarged or your new custom fire table needs to be a little smaller.

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Infratech’s Designer Spotlight

Artificial Turf

Infratech, a pioneer and leader in infrared technology is featuring Park Slope Design in their recent edition of their Designer Spotlight. Learn more about Park Slope, The Southbay Transitional Home and Joan Grabel’s design process at http://infratech-usa.com/designer-spotlight-park-slope-design/.

Turf Wars: Real or Artificial?

Turf in a shady sideyard
Artificial Turf
Artificial Turf

The recent drought in California has heightened the conversation about artificial versus real turf. With many water districts offering rebates to homeowners who remove their lawn and replace with artificial turf, low water plant materials or other materials that do not require water. Homeowners are questioning whether to even consider using artificial turf. Be aware, not all artificial turf is created equal. I have seen artificial turf products that are shiney and have a cheap, plastic look. Then, there are some artificial turfs that are almost indistinguishable from real turf and they have what is called brown thatch which gives a much more organic look. This is the artificial turf I recommend to my clients. Woven from 100% polyethylene blades and usually laid over a bed of layers of sand and crushed rock aggregate for drainage.

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Bring Your landscape to Life with Lighting!

Southbay Transitional
EC_5Night After

Illuminating your landscape can completely transform your property. Looking out the window at night brings dimension to the landscape and brings the outside in. LED low voltage lighting is energy efficient and is the best choice for the landscape.

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