Thanks for visiting our website - and for giving our blog a read. Arcadia Studio's designers will post notes here on a broad range of landscaping topics - be it sustainable design, plant palettes, a good book or article, site work, LEED certification - just about anything we come across that incites us to write up a post.
We launched this blog recently, so its not yet brimming with content, but we're keen on growing it into a resource where those interested in landscape design go to see what's new in the field, what interesting things we're coming across, and what issues we're grappling with in the pursuit of landscape design.
If you have any questions about what you read here - or about Arcadia Studio in general - we'd be more than happy to chat with you. Just give us a call or drop us an e-mail
We couldn't be happier to announce: Our very own Martha Degasis has received the coveted Lockwood de Forest Award for her landscape architectural work at the Santa Barbara History Museum. It is the highest honor the City of Santa Barbara can bestow for such work. The award is not given out annually but only when a particular site design rises to the prestigious award's high standard. If you've ever visited the museum you understand why the landscape, finished in 2009, is deserving of the de Forest prize; its understated design is a perfect example of a landscape that appears to have been there forever, as if a product of nature. It is a harmony of native plant gardens and stone hardscaping that evokes the history of the West while also being perfectly functional when the venue hosts weddings and other gatherings.
So, Congratulations, Martha!
Information about the city awards given out this year can be found here.
Another day, another social website, right? But Houzz is different. It's a really well organized directory of professionals who design and build houses. We liked it enough to launch a profile. Check it out!
The Winter, 2013 issue of our seasonal newsletter covers the basics of collecting rain water. If you'd like subscribe to this free newsletter, give us you're email address (we won't spam you or give it anyone else!) and we'll send it to. You'll be able to view all past 8 issues as well. Thanks!
On the evening of September 30, Arcadia Studio shared the limelight with Cottage Hospital at the 48th annual Santa Barbara Beautiful Awards, being recognized for our contribution to the planning and design of the landscape of the new facility. With about one acre of landscaped outdoor spaces, Cottage now has gardens serving the public, patients, their visitors, and hospital staff.
The gardens were designed to accommodate users with a wide variety of plantings, in a setting that allows for individual and small groups to stroll the grounds or sit and visit in relatively private spaces, all within view of interesting water features, beautiful works of art, or both. Plantings were chosen for their year-round interest, in terms of color and texture, and to both complement the hospital’s architecture and define the exterior spaces.
The Cottage Hospital landscape is an example of Arcadia’s expertise with “healing” gardens, resulting from continuing education focused on health care design, and years of practice with similar developments, including hospital gardens, assisted living, long-term care, and hospice.
Currently, Arcadia is working with Cottage Health System on the replacement of Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, with Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura on its new facility, and with the County of Santa Barbara Housing Authority and the Rona Barrett Foundation on their new development in Solvang, consisting of 70 low-income senior housing units, 60 assisted-living/memory care units, and a large senior day care/community center.
Arcadia was also honored by Santa Barbara Beautiful with an award in the Historic Restoration category for our new design of the courtyard at the Carrillo Recreation Center, a Craftsman style structure built in 1914. While our courtyard design was a new addition to the site, it was praised as a faithful rendition of the style, matching the detailing and quality of the original building.
The courtyard at the Recreation Center provides amenities previously unavailable to users of the building, involving an enclosed garden space with seating and shade provided by four Eastern Redbud trees, as well as formal hedges and perennial plantings appropriate to the original period of construction.
For many years, Arcadia has been a faithful supporter of the Children’s Creative Project, participating in the I Madonnari Festival of chalk painting at the Old Mission. For this year’s event Arcadia sponsored a work by Summer Solstice artist Pali X-Mano. The image is the 2012 Summer Solstice poster, expressing this year’s “Fantasy” theme.
The work was rendered by a group of six outstanding 10th-grade students from the Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA) at Santa Barbara High School, who worked all Saturday morning at a blistering pace, leaving us amazed at their skills. VADA is a three-year art study program for College Preparatory and/or Honors students with particular interest in the arts.
We were thrilled with the outcome of this partnership with VADA, and hope to engage the same group of students for next year’s event.
Many thanks to Brooke Van Der Kar of the VADA program, Pali, our six great renderers, and Summer Solstice.
See you at the parade!
Arcadia Studio's Meg West is now officially the host of Garden Wise, a show about sustainability, plants, design, and all things green. Give it a watch!
The spring 2012 issue of our seasonal newsletter take a look at the artistry of living walls. If you'd like subscribe to this free newsletter give us you're email address and we'll send it to. You'll be able to view past issues as.
Presqu'ile Winery is a project of ours that we're very excited about, so we were happy to see it get attention in Dwell Magazine.
Leaf Landscape is offering Fire Smart Landscape Audits to help clients understand and implement fire-wise practices.
We’ll spend an hour or more (depending on the size of the property) walking the site, and then write up a list of specific recommendations which can be used to establish and maintain defensible space.
The cost of the Fire Smart Audit is as follows:
upto ⅔ acre: $250
⅔ to 1 acre: $350
Over 1 acre: $450
The fire smart audit builds upon the sustainability audits we have been doing for a year, which have been proven decrease water use in the landscape. Combine a fire-smart and sustainability audit to for an overall picture of the long-term approach to site issues.
Cost of a combination fire-smart and sustainability audit:
upto ⅔ acre: $375
⅔ to 1 acre: $525
Over 1 acre: $675
It's never too late to upgrade the sustainability of your landscape, and it's never too early to implement fire-wise landscape design. For more information on both service, please call us at 805 962 9055, or email Meg West at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arcadia Studio's very own Derrik Eichelberger conceived the serene circular patio featured in the issue. Designed as a memorial to honor a sacred spot in the garden, Derrik worked with the owners, Tom Morrison and Nancy Brock to create a spot that celebrated the spirit of Nancy's mom, and provided a restful perch to take in the beauty of the Santa Barbara Channel. The planting design of native and coastally adapted plants, along with Tom's handy-work on the deck, created a one of a kind setting.
The July 16 Home section of the LA Times ran a nice piece on a run down Carpinteria beach house Arcadia Principal Derrik Eichelberger helped resuscitate.
The full article, along with photographs, can be read here.
In honor of Earth Day we are offering half price LEAF Landscape Audits for the month of April. This written assessment is conducted on site and will provide you with options for improving the efficiency, sustainability, and overall design of your garden. The Audit identifies ways to decrease water use in the landscape, which can save you significant money each month on water bills.
LEAF services include:
• Audit of existing landscapes with recommendations for improvements
• High-quality landscape and irrigation design services offering streamlined state-of-the-art solutions
• Coordinated installation with local contractors committed to quality craftsmanship and dependable service
• On-going maintenance recommendations to assure maximum benefits from improvements
Call Meg West at 805.962.9055 x 28 for a half price landscape audit.
1/3 acre or less: Normally $150, now $75
1/3 – 2/3 acre: Normally $250, now $125
2/3 – 1 acre : Normally $350, now $175
1 acre or more: Normally $450, now $225
On April 16 and 17, in Alameda Park, Santa Barbara’s overwhelmingly informative Earth Day Festival honors our community’s environmental ethic. Arcadia Studio is joining the jubilee to promote our new division, LEAF, a group dedicated to helping clients transform thirsty, maintenance-intensive gardens into efficient and beautiful ones. LEAF landscape will be sharing a booth with Florasource, Ltd., a vendor specializing in green roof materials and UC Verde Buffalograss, a drought-tolerant lawn alternative. Our booth will be located on the northeast side of Santa Barbara Street, close to Sola St., in the Green Building and Solar Section, near the Harvest to Home Section. Admittance is free. Come say hello!
We're honored to see Rancho Latigo, a Santa Ynez project with a landscape designed by Arcadia Studio, featured in the February/March Home & Garden issue of Santa Barbara Magazine. SB Mag doesn't publish entire articles for free on its website, but they put out a teaser. Since the tease is light on images of the landscape, I'm posting a few from our portfolio. It's a remarkable piece of land - 5,000 acres of rolling hills and ranch land with stunning panoramic views. Puck Erickson led Arcadia's design effort.
Come one, come all! See the flyer below for details:
A residential project Derrik Eichelberger has been involved in with for over a decade is one of two properties featured in an article by Carol Bornstein in the latest issue of Montecito Magazine. The article focuses on the use of succulent materials in garden design for their aesthetic beauty, adaptablity to the Santa Barbara region, and their benefits as fire-safe planting.
Landscaping accounts for the majority of water use in California households. Irrigating your lawn probabally uses more water than bathing and dishwashing combined. Replacing lawn with a drought-tolerant alternative such as UC Verde Buffalograss or a bunchgrass meadow will cut your monthly bills significantly.
For example, a 1/3 acre yard in Santa Barbara County typically spends between $800 and $1500 per year for irrigation, potentially more in places where water is particularly expensive, like Solvang and Montecito. A LEAF landscape design can help you save 50% to 75%. on your water bill, and cut maintenance requirements in half. Our designs reduce maintenance costs and environmental impact by eliminating the need for fossil-fueled mowing and hedging. Add a laundry-to-landscape greywater system to irrigate fruit trees, and you’ll be paying less for water overall, and producing fruit from an orchard that’s irrigated entirely with recycled water.
For large properties, the savings can be enormous. A one acre site composed of lawn and high water use plants will demand more than $20,000 per year for water and maintenance. LEAF designs can cut costs by more than half, and provide a return on investment after two years.
Residents or businesses in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, or Lompoc are able to participate in the Smart Landscape Rebate Program and receive money from their water provider to decrease water use in the landscape. Participants will get a check in the mail for up to $1000 after the retrofits are completed, and save even more in the long run.
This program aims to help homeowners and businesses improve irrigation efficiency, remove lawns, replace high-water use plants, upgrade old irrigation controllers, and install rain sensors. Rebates will cover half the cost of plants, irrigation parts, or greywater systems.
LEAF landscape, a vision of Arcadia Studio, is now offering Landscape Audit Services. The audit, which takes about an hour, will provide you with concrete strategies to make your garden more sustainable. We’ll look closely at your existing plants, irrigation, and maintenance practices, make recommendations to decrease water use and maintenance requirements, and suggest ways to improve your garden's overall design. The cost of the Audit is between $150 and $350, depending on the size of the property. If you are spending too much money on water and maintenance, want to take advantage of the Smart Landscape Rebate Program, or are simply looking for ideas about how to live more sustainably, then the Landscape Audit will get you on the right track.
Form more information on the Smart Landscape Rebate program, go to sbwater.org
For more information on Landscape Audits, email Meg at Arcadia Studio.
A project Arcadia Studio has had the pleasure of being integral in bringing to fruition received the top honor in the custom built homes category at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference annual Golden Nugget ceremony. (We featured the project on our blog last year when it was gathering attention locally.) Here's the judge's statement:
""Wow… this 7,800 sq. ft. home was designed to be sustainable and multi-generational structure that features separate enclaves. The interior courtyard is a modern retreat from wind and exterior sound and is the core of the dwelling. Utilizing recycled surfaces and reclaimed materials the home becomes a responsible dwelling with energy performance exceeding Title 24 by 50%. Careful attention was paid to the development of personal enclaves for extended family and guests alike."
Started 50 years ago, the PCBC is a community of builders and manufacturers, building scientists and architects, environmental engineers and landscape companies, working together to advance the art and science of community building.