Slabs of stained concrete are “artfully off-centered and irregular” in this backyard design. Photo courtesy Kingdom Landscape Company.

Sooner Home, California Style

Nancy Edwards, designer and co-owner of Kingdom Landscape Company, is a 36-year veteran of Oklahoma gardening. However, she’s always been a devotee of the Golden State as well, she says. Recently, Edwards was able to exercise both her passion for landscaping and her affinity for California style when she helped a Tulsa couple convert their traditional home into a California Craftsman.

“I have a love for all things California – there’s a surfboard in the landscape design to prove that – and it also seemed that the design would work with a modern element more typically associated with California contemporary,” Edwards says, “hence the off-kilter slabs of stained concrete used to create a walkway from the driveway to the front door and through the pergola and into the back yard.”

The slabs alone, which Edwards wanted “artfully off-centered and irregular,” were an exercise in scientific design, calling on ancient techniques dating to the great pyramids and Greek architecture.

“It is believed to be the most pleasing proportion and, after seeing its effect in this job and others, it has my vote,” Edwards says.

For planting, Edwards says she selected short ornamental grasses for texture and contrast with the stone. Not daunted by the lack of a sprinkler system, she made sure all her plants were low-maintenance, “for an Oklahoma version of the California style we were going for.

“I especially enjoyed this project because we have many more opportunities to do work around traditional Tulsa architecture and, as much as we love many of those styles, it was nice to work with a client and setting that called for a design with a fusion of a couple styles we don’t often get to use,” she says.