Posts from the ‘whimsy’ category

Flower Color at Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens covers more than 55 acres of a 130 acre estate.  Today the gardens consist of five major garden styles – The Sunken Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and the Mediterranean Garden.

Each of these gardens contains a skillful combination of rare and exotic shrubs, trees and flowers.  Many of these were collected by the But chart’s during their extensive world travels.  The garden was continually expanded over the years to become world famous.










One of the most fascinating items about the gardens is the wonderful use of flower color.  Within the meticulously cared for flower beds you will find large drifts of single flower color as well as the more interesting mixed flower color combinations.

The rich color combinations used throughout the gardens brings to mind the meaning of flower color.  While doing some research I came across these interesting facts.

Every flower color offers a rich and meaningful story dating back centuries.  Today their meanings and symbolisms still play an important role in garden design.  Here is a list of flower color and their meanings.

White – Often associated with innocence, humility and reverence.  In these flower beds white flowers are used as low growing carpets of color and as tall accent color.










Pink – When you think of pink you think of grace, gentility and happiness.  Pink can be used on its own or with silver leaf plants for a soft elegant look.










Red – Full of energy and represents desire, strength and passionate love.  Red is one color that can hold its own in the garden and does not need to be combined with another color.










Purple – The origins are tied to royalty it represents dignity, pride and success.  Purple flowers range from the soft purple to dark indigo.










Blue – Symbolizes peace, serenity and openness.  There are few true blue flowers.  However, many flowers have blue tones.










Lavender – Similar to pink, lavender also represents refinement, grace and elegance, but at a more sophisticated level.  Whether used alone or in combination with another color, lavender flowers give a garden a soft sophisticated feel.










Orange – Nothing is bashful about the color orange.  Orange symbolizes energy, enthusiasm and warmth.  Orange always “pops” in the garden and when used in combination with purple the energy level is raised.










Yellow – Evokes feelings of joy and new beginnings.   When yellow flowers are used in mass planting they become the stars of the garden.










Green – Represents health, resilience and good fortune.  Although not a common flower color several shades of green are possible.  Keep in mind certain Moss gardens consist only of shades of green.










The next time you are planning the color scheme of your garden keep in mind the symbolism behind each flower color.  The color symbolisms are closely tied to our emotions and will influence the feeling the garden evokes.  Do you want your garden to be soft and introspective or wild and full of energy?  Or perhaps you are looking for a happy medium between the two extremes.

Finding Garden Furniture at the Flea Market

Now that summer is upon us it is the perfect time to check out the local flea market and find bargains, such as outdoor furniture, that can be used in the garden. I spent the first Sunday of the month at the Alameda monthly flea market and came across a number of garden worthy items. If you decide that sourcing out garden furniture and other garden related items at the flea market is for you hear are a few things to keep in mind.

When going to the flea market always be prepared for surprises and be ready to deal with impulse buying. Just as important, know when to negotiate an agreeable price or when to walk away. Some research and a little know-how can go a long way when hunting for retro outdoor furnishings, lights, pottery or lawn ornaments.

Be sure to ask a few questions to the dealer about the piece you are interested in. “Do you know the manufacture?” “What is the history; did you own it or acquire it from some on else?” All of this information can help you make a decision on to buy or not.

When searching for outdoor furniture for lawn, patio or porch be sure to look for pieces that are sturdy and in good condition. Remember that most pieces of garden furniture can be repainted or powder coated. So don’t let rust, chipping paint or other signs of wear keep you from buying a piece you are drawn to.

photo (95)







At times the big question may be; how do you know you are getting an authentic piece of old garden furniture? It is best to become familiar with the subject by looking through vintage home and garden magazines and furniture books. Another way is to go on to on-line sites like eBay.

Don’t limit yourself to “pedigree” garden furnishings. Many industrial implements and mechanical part can be used as instant art when hung on a wall, fence, or place next to a garden gate. Large decorative mirrors, clock faces, metal buckets and olive urns fall into this category. The larger the piece the better, as the great outdoor tends to make items appear smaller.

photo (21) photo (23)









You may find neglected furniture and decorative objects, meant for indoor use, the perfect item for a covered patio or porch. I found metal iron day beds, large plaster bust and wood screens just waiting to shine again. Not in the home but in the garden.


photo (4) photo (13)








Be on the lookout for old urns and vases. Everything from formal Medici iron urns to faux bois pottery can be found at the flea market. Grouped together, with or without plants, they make a dramatic focal point.


photo (7) photo (9)








Great patio or porch seating can be found in the form of metal gliders, iron swing sets and iron chairs. Here are some examples I came across.


photo (5) photo (88)








Lastly, the various styles of dinning sets are vast. I came across sets made of metal and wood. Some sets are ready to use others need cushions for comfortable seating. Again here are some beauties.


photo (98) photo (91)








photo (99)photo (97)








I hope this inspires you to check out the flea market when looking for a unique piece of garden furnishings.



One of my favorite garden spaces are courtyards. They are romantic and practical at the same time! They are contained and enveloped by the house, oftentimes creating amazing places to use and view nature up close. Due to their proximity to the house, courtyards often contain a patio that can be used as an extension of the livable space inside the house. Courtyards become places to enjoy a cup of tea on a comfy lounge chair, while surrounded by the lushness of plants and nature. They are easy to access because of their close integration with the architecture, either at the same level as the house or just a few steps down from the house. I would love to have a house with a courtyard.  Being two stories above, I have learned from experience that easy access to the outdoor space is tremendously important if you ever want to use it.



11.19.12 014

11.19.12 012


Oftentimes, courtyards are contained by walls on all fours sides. This provides a sheltered, intimate experience away from cold winds. Courtyards are small enough to tackle and create great opportunities for detail.


The details can be in the form of focal points such as water features or tiles inlaid in the steps or walls. Wall treatments can be in the form of playful paint colors or scented vines and shrubs softening the walls. Courtyards provide an opportunity for aromatic plants to warm and waft into the house. Natural stone paving can pull together the house color and flooring to create a cohesive, complementary surface to view and use. Gravel paving can also create a sensory experience, and offers a more rustic transition to the rest of a rambling garden.




Flowerland Nursery – This Land was Made for You and Me!

FLOWERLAND FLOWERLAND I don’t know what it is about places that end in “land,” but I love them. I’m talking about places that name a thing that I love and end it in land, which equals the land of the thing that I love. When I was a kid and just started driving, I spent $600 on a 1960 American Rambler. We called it the Pambler. It was a giant hunk of steel – all bench seating. I could fit nine of my friends and I pretty comfortably – and we rambled. A lot. We often rambled past a place called Donutland. You see – one of my favorite things turned into a land! I never got to go, but Playland by the beach in San Francisco, but I imagine it was everything I would want a land of play to be.  So imagine my delight when I walked into Flowerland Nursery last week. It’s a land of nursery enchantment!

nursery and store signFlowerland Nursery on Solano Avenue in Albany has been a nursery forever. The architecture suggests it opened in the 1950s or 60s. The original signage is such a treasure, you can’t wait to see what’s inside. And, wowie! what a fantastic experience once you go in. Before I talk about the wonders of this little east bay nursery, I have to say I tried going to Flowerland when I first started working in the east bay a million years ago, and it seemed like it was in decline – my coworker described it as random and rundown. I thought then that someone with a vision should take over and bring it back to its original glory. I never went back until now.

Lo and behold, new owners took over Flowerland nursery about four years ago – and I didn’t get the memo. I’m sorry I was late to the party, but I plan on going back to this east bay treasure regularly. It’s hard to say what I like most about Flowerland because I didn’t see anything I didn’t like, but I’ll give it a go.

tomatoes make good friendsFor starters, you’re walking around in a little piece of local history. It’s harder and harder to find original, neighborhood nurseries, especially any this awesome – and this one is right on Solano Avenue. I already mentioned the original signage. The folks at Flowerland have fine tuned the design of the nursery seamlessly around the awesome original details. The nursery and store are designed well and you just get the feeling that everything is where it should be. Café lights have been added to the original metal shade structures – it seems like they close at 5.30, so I’ll have to wait until winter to see them all lit up.

coffee trailer and chairsNeed a coffee or a snack? The Local 123 airstream has a permanent spot in the nursery and the airstream fits in flawlessly with the vibe of the nursery. Who doesn’t want to make their garden wish list while sipping a latte?

soil amendment signfruit trees 2vine signsucculents






I really love the organization of the space. It isn’t a huge nursery by any stretch of the imagination, but they cover all of the bases. There is a focus on food producers, from veggies, to herbs, to fruit trees. They have one of the best selections of heirloom tomatoes going. This is the year I decided to try growing tomatoes in San Francisco again. I planted the tried and true early girls, but I couldn’t resist heirloom tomatoes with names like ‘Bloody Butcher’  Lots of varieties that are particularly well-suited to the zone 17 east bay climate. The in-house signage is informative and vintage-inspired.

fuchsia procumbensThe plant material is great! They have an eye for interesting and unique They also have a large selection of 4” plant material – and all are reasonably priced. My favorite scores of the day were a 4” Fuchsia procumbens and a 4” Rhodochiton astrosanguieum, two plants I’ve been searching for FOREVER. Also, a big shout-out to Annie’s Annuals for growing funky plants!

fertilizer needstoolsshopindoor outdoor shop 2


The “store” portion of Flowerland nursery is darling, and hosts a bevy of begonias, bromeliads and other interesting houseplants. They have great gardening tools and organic fertilizers. And if you’re into terrariums, this is your place. They have lots of miniature plants – and miniatures to create your own scenes.  So much fun. They appear to have an olive oil program – bring your own bottle and they’ll fill it for you. I’m not sure of the origin of the olive oil – but how awesome is that? The shop is a perfect place to shop for the green thumbs in your life. I haven’t even mentioned the perfect, omnipresent nursery dog!this guy

If you find yourself in east bay and are in the mood for retail therapy of the flora variety – head on down to Flowerland Nursery on Solano Avenue in Albany. You won’t be disappointed!



When I was in 8th grade, I had to decide what foreign language to learn in school.  My paternal grandmother was a French teacher.  Both my parents had taken French when they were in school.   I loved Eclairs.  This seemed like an obvious choice.  Now, living in California, working in the landscape construction business, and cultivating an obsession with Carnitas, I feel that Spanish may have been a better route to take.  But even though it wasn’t the practical choice, I can’t deny that French is an incredibly beautiful language.

This may be part of the reason I love espalier.  Just say it:  ES-PAHL-YAY (or es-pah-lee-air, but that way doesn’t sound as sexy).  Now say it in a way that doesn’t sound as ridiculous as my phonetic interpretations look.  Just let it roll off your tongue.  Like Chevalier.  Espalier.

According to my inside sources (Wikipedia), Espalier is the horticultural and ancient agricultural practice of controlling woody plant growth originally for the production of fruit, by pruning and tying branches to a frame so that they grow into a flat plane, frequently in formal patterns, against a structure such as a wall, fence, or trellis; and also plants which have been shaped in this way.

Also known as an awesome way to screen a narrow space, and potentially get some fruit at the same time.  Heyo!

Bay Area homes can offer spectacular views, so the orientation of these homes will maximize the vista.  As a result, useable outdoor space may be  sacrificed.  In many cases, neighbors are literally an arm’s length away.  So, what if the arm’s length is on the south side of your house, where the sun shines longest?   Or you’d like to obscure a blank wall or unattractive view, but a billowy screening shrub would impede movement or block valuable light?  Or, your first priority is to maximize entertaining space by enlarging a patio or deck, but the second highest priority is that Meyer Lemon you’ve always wanted (and frankly, being a Bay Area resident, you deserve)?  An espalier may be the answer.

Espaliered Pear and Apple

Espaliered Pear and Apple in Narrow Planting Bed

Vines can soften large expanses of wall or fence, but many homeowners aren’t thrilled with the prospect of something like ivy or jasmine climbing up the side of the home, getting into gutters and potentially damaging the paint or trim.  An espalier can do the job of a vine, creating a vertical green screen, but lessening the risk of damage. Though the premise behind the espalier is pretty simple, there are some basic maintenance requirements.  They need at least occasional pruning to keep their shape.  Traditional espalier are kept to form with diligent pruning, into clearly defined designs and patterns, like candelabras and fans.

Traditional Espalier Patterns

Traditional Espalier Patterns

Personally, I’m not that strict.  Someday I’d like to give a formal espalier a try, but in most gardens I recommend them for more practical purposes.  Most of my clients don’t have the time to cultivate a Camellia into a Serpentine pattern, but they can keep it tidy and clean by pruning back branches that extend more than a few inches out from the main structure.  They get the screen of a dense evergreen shrub, the flowers or fruit that come with it, but haven’t sacrificed valuable real estate.

While espalier have historically borne fruit (apples, pears, lemons, and figs have a long espalier history), there are other small trees and shrubs well suited to espalier, like Camellias, Dwarf Magnolias, and Fringeflower (Loropetalum).

Espaliered Camellias against Fence

Espaliered Camellias against Fence

I tried to naturally espalier a Mirror Plant against a wall in my garden, and it worked just great until a storm last year when the main branch failed and the whole thing fell over (hindsight being 20/20, I probably should have tied it up).  Some espalier can be removed from the trellis they are trained against once the primary branches are strong enough, but most need some type of support to maintain the structure.

Espalier can also be used to create fences.  Where a long stretch of screen is desired, multiple espaliers can be placed in a row, creating a narrow hedge.  This is called a Belgian Fence. The shrubs or trees in a Belgian fence are typically supported with posts and strong wire to help direct the branching pattern.  This technique is often used in apple and pear orchards.

Belgian Fence

Belgian Fence

Considering how well they’ve done with beer and waffles, I’m going to assume the Belgians are onto something here.  Want to give it a shot?  Call Lazar and ask for Barry if you’ve got the space and you want to try this. I’m in.  I’ll even bring the beer and waffles.


Beer and Waffles (credit flickr, seamusiv)

Beer and Waffles (credit flickr, seamusiv)


Follow up on Fall bulbs!

Remember this blog post back in November – telling you about planting bulbs to enjoy this Spring? I told you all the planning ahead and work during the cooler months would be worth it. We are finally seeing the fruits of that labor as spring has sprung and bulbs are in full effect around the bay area!

02.22.13 006

Remember the Tulip bulbs we were refrigerating for 6 weeks before actually planting – Take a look they are gorgeous.

02.22.13 00302.22.13 002








The homeowner chose the color variety pack and it is fun to see what bulbs are what color because when they were bulbs they all looked the same. With the variety of Tulips we were sent it seems there were not that many yellow flowering ones in the order – making them even more of a prize. Somehow the yellow just seemed to appear where it needed to – Nature at its finest.










And check out these beautiful blue bells and daffodils in a couple different gardens. They are just fun, playful additions to already beautiful perennial beds.










And they remind us to take advantage of the changing weather – take some time to enjoy your garden between the brief rainstorms we’ve been having and enjoy the mild spring weather. Before you know it – it will be summer and we will be in search of a swimming pool!

English Cottage Garden Stirs the Senses

backyard garden photo


Who knew a tiny Oakland backyard could contain this secret English Cottage garden? When you walk down the short driveway the garden starts to reveal itself in layers through a whimsical wrought iron gate covered with fragrant roses and lush purple clematis. There are so many new and existing plants covering every square inch of soil. The colors and smells wake up your nose and your eyes as soon as you enter.  A huge Coast Live Oak and established Pittosporum undulatum tree create the backdrop screening and canopy for the rest of the garden. Along the sides, we planted a hedge of Podocarpus to create a clean green and narrow screen. Existing established rhododendrons screen the Tudor style garage. The vast majority of the garden is dedicated to planting beds, rather than patios.




My clients number one priority was to be able to view the garden looking down from their eating nook and they were right. The formal half circle of lawn is anchored by a central bird bath. Pink flowering dogwoods anchor each end and enforce the formal symmetry of the half circle, while the planting beds around the brick-lined lawn are whimsical and packed full with flowering plants. Established rhododendrons on the perimeter and a few existing hydrangea make this new garden installation seem timeless. As with many English Cottage Gardens, there are formal lines and symmetry that relate to the architecture of the building. But the formality is never left exposed to be cold and stark because it is softened by the color and texture of the jam-packed planting beds.





Although, the back yard is small, it is able to house several distinct rooms that make the garden feel larger. The first room is the largest when viewed from above. It contains the formal semi-circle of lawn edged by generous planting beds. Directly across from the lawn, separated by a brick path, is the original brick patio and fireplace nook. We had to do some additional brick work and patching due to safety issues but the new brick blends in seamlessly with the old. Splashing mortar on the surface of the brick really helped to disguise the new brick. On the back of the fireplace is a small herb garden complete with an espaliered lemon tree. Behind the fireplace we refurbished the existing greenhouse by framing out a row of different salvaged windows and replacing the roof. A coat of turquoise stain makes it blend in with the original door and siding. Beyond the wrought iron fence, two metal troughs act as raised beds for growing strawberries, tomatoes, and even more cutting flowers. Hard perimeters are always softened by plants. The rhododendrons screen the wall of the garage while the vining clematis and rose weave in an out of the fence. The existing concrete retaining wall separating properties is disguised by the Podocarpus and soft blue geranium.





The biggest challenge in this garden was dealing with the shade the magnificent existing trees and rhododendrons created. Since the Oak and Pittosporum were already established and have large canopies, the lawn and flowering plants below suffer from the shade and leaf litter in the winter time. Additional seed in the winter and thinning of the trees could help, but this is just a fact in gardens sometimes. The symmetry of the lawn and border of roses can’t be changed to anything else. The changes each season brings help you appreciate the garden in different ways throughout the year. When the roses are dormant and bare branches in the winter, the evergreen Daphne perfumes the air with it’s sweet, soapy scent. The winter brings out the beautiful peony blooms of the Camelia, while spring triggers the Rhododendrons to light up with bright purple and pink clouds. The summer brings jaw-dropping displays of puffy purple and pink Hydrangea and peach Alstromeria, while the climbing roses, David Austin Rose and tea rose perfume the air.





Bring the Outdoors In on a Rainy Easter Sunday

Blue Bird of HappinesApril showers may bring may flowers, but they can also mess up a perfectly good weekend in the garden! Ok, so technically it’s the last day of March, but let’s not let that trip us up. The weather folks are predicting thunderstorms this Sunday – just when we were planning Easter brunch in the garden. That got me thinking. If we’re going to be driven indoors, why not bring the outdoors in? I came up with a couple of ideas to keep my mind on the garden while my house overflows with guests. I know we’re a landscape design and construction blog, and not a food blog, but these recipes were so fun I thought I’d share!

DSC08042Easter Egg Hunt Cheddar, Chive and Bacon Biscuits

(makes 12)

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 sticks of chilled butter cut into cubes
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Cayenne to taste
½ pound bacon cut into ¼” lardons and cooked
12 soft-boiled eggs

Heat oven to 400

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Insert baking cups if desired, and spray again.
Place eggs in pot and just cover with water. Bring pot to boil and remove eggs from heat. Let them sit for 3 minutes, then cool them in cold water or an ice bath. Remove shells when they’re cool enough to handle.

Whisk dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter until pea-sized pieces form. Add cheese and toss lightly to integrate the cheese into the dry mixture and coat it with flour.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and chives.
Make a well in the dry mixture and pour liquid mixture in. Use a fork to mix it all together. Avoid overmixing.

Press mixture into about 2/3 of the baking cup. Add a soft-boiled egg to the center of the batter (if it’s still damp from cooking, dry it off first) and cover with more batter. Think of the top batter like a blanket and tuck it all around the egg, pressing it into the batter beneath.

Repeat with all 12 eggs. Lightly brush with milk.
Place in oven for approximately 18 minutes – keep an eye on it! Mine have taken as long as 28 minutes to cook to my liking.

Egg hunting has never tasted so good!

You'll find an egg in every biscuit!

You’ll find an egg in every biscuit!

A plate of nestsBird’s Nests w/ Chocolate Almond Eggs
This is the easiest thing – EVER. And delicious. And really freaking cute!!! And you’ll look like the craftiest person anyone knows. These would make really charming name card holders if you’re feeling kind of formal.

My next door neighbor growing up always made us haystacks with these noodles, but I wanted something more garden worthy.

Before you start, spread out wax or parchment paper for nest-building.
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 package Fried chow mein noodles. I got mine in the bulk section at Berkeley bowl and one package did really nicely in:

1 package of butterscotch chips – you can also try peanut butter chips, or good old chocolate chips, however you want your nest to look

In a double boiler, melt your chip of choice. Melting patterns can vary if you’re not using chocolate – I found that my butterscotch chips wanted to seize up a little, so I added a little vegetable oil, and voila! creamy butterscotch.

Once melted, remove from heat and gently fold in the noodles. From there the mixture is cool enough to handle, and you can start building your nest. Try to make a bowl that will hold your eggs.

Let dry. You can make these little nests a few days ahead and store in an airtight container.

Fill with your choice of egg-shaped candy. I looked for malt ball robin’s eggs but couldn’t find them. I really like how the chocolate and yogurt-covered almonds look.Nesting

Green Roof on a Chicken Coop Update

It has been about 6 months since I planted the green roof on our backyard chicken coop in San Francisco. The mixture of drought tolerant succulents and ornamental grasses went in at the end of September in the shallow 4″ depth of soil, where they have endured some very cold winter nights and little rain. Considering how neglectful I have been these past 6 months, I am happy with the results and look forward to seeing it grow in. After the first month I rarely tended to the roof, except to look at it from my home on the second story. I lost a few succulents to the cold, and the Sedum ‘Cape Blanco’ has grown leggy from from the drought I’ve put it through, but I couldn’t be more amazed at the ability of these plants to survive.

The Americauna and Rock Island Red hens are in their teens and steadily producing two to four eggs everyday. These four girls produce tan and spotted eggs that are delicious with bright orange yolks. Since I’ve never had chickens before, it has taken some getting used to. First, they love to eat almost everything in the garden. When we let them out of the coop, they have ‘free range’ of the garden. They dig up planting beds to make room for dirt baths, devour the veggie beds, and sample and nibble every plant in the garden, including weeds and succulents. They have humongous poops that I know have amazing fertilizer capabilities for our garden, but the poops are gushy and attract hoards of flies! I can no longer go barefoot in the garden. Despite these drawbacks, they are gentle and friendly girls that provide really yummy eggs. The racoons can’t get to them because they are locked up at night in the fortress of a coop my brother-in-law built. Our first set of chicks got devoured by a raccoon early on because we accidentally left the door open. It was a horrendous sight the next morning which we will never forget and we diligently check to make sure the doors are locked at night.

Here are some pictures from 6 months ago and now. Enjoy!

Fieldtrip! CornerStone, Sonoma

Ready for the GardensOne of our New Year’s resolution as a design team here at Lazar Landscape is to take advantage of the many landscape related daytrip opportunities available to us in the San Francisco Bay area to spend time together as a team, to gain inspiration and insight for our designs, and mostly to have fun. Our first fieldtrip was to CornerStone in Sonoma, California. The weather gods were kind to us as we strolled through the gardens and surrounding shops.

Earth WalkIf you don’t know about CornerStone, it’s a large gallery of display gardens by local and world renowned landscape architects and designers. The landscape installations change often, so there’s always something new and interesting. If you’re a garden lover planning a trip to the Sonoma wine country, it’s worth stopping by. Admission to the gardens at CornerStone is free. On a beautiful day you can spend hours strolling through the widely varied landscape installations that range from high concept spaces like Pamela Burton’s installation ‘Earthwalk,’ to more natural installations by John Greelee and James Van Sweden, to very utilitarian installations like ‘Attention! Potager’ by Scott Daigre, and a children’s garden by MIG that was quite play

IMG_1219Group favorite installations were ‘Rise’ by Planet Horticulture who always delivers with their amazing plant combinations, and ‘In the Air’ by Conway Cheng Chang. When we think about gardens and landscapes enriching and nurturing our senses, we commonly think about what we see, smell and touch. With a simple construction of culms from Bambusa oldhamii (Giant Timber Bamboo) on a metal frame, Chang constructed an organic flute of sorts that uses the wind in the Sonoma Valley to create simple, beautiful organic sounds. It inspired me to find ways to bring sound into my design to complete the sensory stimulation.

Conway Cheng Chang

reflectingWhen you go, make time for the reflecting pond – a permanent element at CornerStone. It’s the point where the landscaped elements end and the rolling hills and agricultural surroundings begin. I love the meditative quality of a good reflecting pond, and I used those few moments to, well reflect, on how fortunate I am to do the work I do with the people I get to work with.

funky faux boistwo bull dozersThere are great shops surrounding the landscapes at CornerStone. I found an amazing faux bois (or funky concrete tree as I like to call it) at Artefact – and get lots of ideas and goodies from PotterGreen, and the sculptures at New Leaf Gallery pull you into the actual landscape installations at CornerStone. There are also Sonoma wineries represented, so you can kick of your wine tasing right at CornerStone.

whimsychildren's garden

Whether you spend an hour or four, CornerStone is a great stop on any trip to Sonoma wine country.