The Making of “Villa Gardens” on EdenMaker TV

The Making of “Villa Gardens” on EdenMaker TV

by / 5 Comments / 1067 View / August 14, 2008

Ever wonder what is going on in your neighbor’s backyard when trash bins are delivered, bobcats go in and out of the yard and landscaper’s trucks seem to be a permanent fixture on the street?

Someone is getting a new landscape!

















Before Photo of Front Yard

It’s natural to be a little bit curious, even nosey about what is going on next door.

I understand.

As a landscape designer in Los Angeles and garden television host, I’m used to onlookers trying to sneak a peek at the action….so I decided to do something about it!


Go Behind the Scenes!

I’m  inviting  you behind the construction gates of one of my projects in Calabasas, California through photo and video posts of the progress on EdenMaker TV.

There is much to learn by watching someone else’s dream garden unfold, though I will warn you,  things get dirty before they get pretty!
















The Grinbaum Family


The first project I want to share with you is the making of “Villa Gardens” for one of my favorite clients, the Grinbaum family.

I know this family well because I designed another landscape for them years ago and am familiar with their tastes and lifestyle.

They are a dream to work with because they are knowledgeable (husband Joe is a builder/contractor), have great taste, (wife Randi often suggests ideas for the design) and are so reasonable!


Southern California Landscape

My clients deserve the best, so I recommended the award winning landscape design/build company, Southern California Landscape to co-design the project and take charge of the construction.


Principal, Javier Martinez is one of the landscape industry’s best talents with detail perfect design instincts and no ego!

Now, that is a rare combination.

Javier and I  bounce ideas off each other, sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t but the Grinbaum’s get the final word.

I’m excited about combining our design ideas and you’ll get to see the results in upcoming posts.

















A masonry craftsman from Southern California Landscape works on the pool makeover, replacing a tile water line with stacked stone.


Meet Charlie, one of the fun-loving pro’s I get to work with.

There is also another passionate contractor on the job, Charlie of Charlie’s construction who is handling the carpentry work.

Charlie is fun to work with, resourceful and gets the work done in record time.


What is “Villa Gardens?

When I first saw the Grinbaum’s yard a couple of years ago, I thought, “This is a Mediterranean villa ready to happen, but not quite there.”

The house was attractive but had a forgettable quality about it.

It lacked personality and the personal signature of the homeowners who have a fondness for Italian, French and natural garden style.



















Lose the Topiary and “Template Design”

The classic-leaning hardscape and manicured gardens were so “un-Grinbaum.”

I knew I had to get in there and create a garden that can “shake its hair loose.”

The hardscape featured lots of cast concrete detailing- not a bad thing, just not a “Grinbaum thing.”

It will be replaced with warm, natural flagstone.

















Say “goodbye” to this boring, uninspired hillside.


The Design Plan

The core projects within the design plan include:

  • New outdoor kitchen, chef’s garden and sports bar for barbecue enthusiast Joe. Yes, Joe will be watching ESPN outside.
  • New covered courtyard lounge with shade garden and fountain
  • New, covered “Sunset patio” located off of the formal dining room for small scale entertaining or overflow sitting.
  • New custom fireplace with built-in sofa for the existing outdoor living room patio.
  • Complete makeover of existing pool, spa and deck from classic design to natural design. Sculpted stone fountains spill into the pool.
  • New, hillside gardens with stone and boulder accents.
  • New front and backyard gardens featuring low water, low maintenance and year round color-producing perennial plants.
  • The house will be painted. It is white now.
  • New perimeter fence and architectural gates.
  • Golf tee
  • New flagstone paving in garden areas.

Follow us in our progress and pick up some design tips and ideas for your yard.

If  you are in Los Angeles and would like us to design your yard, email me through the contact form on this web site.

See you soon!

Shirley Bovshow


5 Comment

  1. Anna, when you drop in, you bring the sunshine with you! Thanks for your enthusiasm.

    This landscape project is moving along at a surprisingly fast rate, considering all the construction that is being undertaken. I agree that Californians have the opportunity to take advantage of every nook and cranny in their yard due to the favorable weather.

    Debra Prinzing is also an inspiration of mine and I have to ask her forgiveness…I read her book a month ago, fell in love with it and still have not written a review of Shed Style! It’s coming Debra! Doesn’t it have beautiful ideas to steal?

    Hi Sofie- You are new to the Eden Maker blog family. Welcome. I can’t wait for you to enjoy Randi and Joe’s new yard soon.

    Hi Nancy- Always my first visitor. Hope you are well and continue to inspire the gardening family! I look forward to your comments on upcoming posts.


  2. Wow Shirley! This is so grand and no wonder they return for more of your talents and love for what you do. You are so in tune to your clients. Since we aren’t doing much on the campaign trail for your presidency, I volunteer to come make you all some tea and snacks. I can’t run a backhoe or lift those big boulders so you’ll have to settle for my southern charm and endless chatter.

    I did find it a bit unusual that you Cali-for-nI-As make so much of your space. You really pack the punches and make them count. I look forward to seeing the Edenmakers’ TV show featuring the progress. How long will it take?

    Tell the Grinbaums that they need a change of clothing for all that work ahead. They are a very handsome family. What a joy to find clients so pleased with your suggestions and an understanding of the construction process.

    Hey—I wanted to tell you that Debra Prinzing sent me a copy of her book Shed Style. I love it—I love everything about it. She mentioned that she lived just an exit or two up from you. So you are neighbors and both my heroes. I can’t wait to do a book review but I keep jotting down ideas and saying—I need to do that. My shed and backyard makeover won’t look like the Grinbaums majestic creation but we will roast a pig in the end and we’ll be eating better BBQ. Tell the Grinbaums and Charlie and Charlie that they are invited. Tell Javier that he’ll get to come too but that he’ll need bib overalls.

    Wishing you the best Miss Shirley from the good old South. I been on vacation to Pawley’s Island and it was grand. Missed ya!!

  3. We love visiting the Grinbaums, their hospitality is outstanding…but forget about visiting, now we’re moving in!

  4. Sounds like an amazing project, but I’m sure all the work will be worthwhile when it’s finished. The lucky homeowners!

Your Commment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin