GardenArt Group

GardenArt Group

Services:

  • Landscape

Regions:

  • San Francisco & Bay Area

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

GardenArt Group was formed in 1989, and is based on the design sensibility of Chris Jacobson, a fourth generation Californian horticulturist. Chris started his landscape career as a beginning gardener, working after high school in his small town community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. His artistic vision has been informed by his early experiences as a gardener, and by the native environs of the American River Canyons above Sacramento where he was born into a pioneer farming family. As a teenager he explored the meadows, rivers and woodlands on horseback, following the last remaining Stagecoach road from his hometown into the lower Sierras. Along the way he learned to love the native plants that formed the California foothill landscape. There also he learned to admire and revere the 100-year-old, gravity-defying stacked-rock retaining walls that were built by indentured Chinese laborers during the westward expansion. This love for the American West has informed and guided his career path from artist to gardener to landscape designer to principal of GardenArt Group, a landscape architecture and garden design firm. No matter how large, small, simple or lavish our project may be, our guiding principle resides in the spirit of the native California landscape.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

With the dramatic backdrop of the Coastal mountains, this Woodside garden was a challenge and a pleasure to build. We chose plants from South Africa, which has a mediterranean climate like that of California's, to honor the birthplace of one of the owners. They took to the site like California natives, which are also featured in the garden.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

This is one example of our smaller residential gardens on the San Francisco Peninsula. We have a long list of modernist and period gardens that we have created for every type of architecture one could think of, from Eichlers to Mediterranean bungalows to Tudors. For example, our concrete and wooden entry structure turned this house from boring to.... not.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

One of our favorite things to do is replace faded old suburban lawns with new and interesting plants that use less water as well. By the time we had the house painted, replaced the lawn with native carex and created an enlarged patio with its own water trough, this garden took on a whole new life as a gathering spot for the neighborhood.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

Once considered the cheapest house on the market in Hillsborough, with the help of our very creative client we were able to turn this aqua and pink concrete nightmare into a tranquil garden space that is the focus of views from most of the house... and, oh yes... the home's value has gone up significantly.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

This was a challenging project from a Hillsborough couple who wanted to revamp an old, run down garden and pool.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

We were able to locate stone that matched the original 1920's construction, re-shape the pool, add the arbor, enlarge the terraces, replace the plantings, trellis the ugly rear retaining wall, and make the whole design look as if it had always been there.

For the 50th anniversary of Sunset Garden's iconic headquarters in Menlo Park, we were asked to re-vamp the classic garden design of the master of landscape modernism, Thomas Church. In 50 years the redwoods at the rear of the circular walk had become giants, and we were able to construct this dry creek and bridge in order to invite Sunset visitors closer to California's most famous natives.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

In 2004 we were chosen to design the cliffside gardens and roof terraces for the San Francisco Decorators Showhouse. The owner of this SeaCliff residence was a follower of Feng Shui, the Chinese art of placement.  It seems the feng shui reading on our entry submittal to the competition was the deciding factor in our getting the job.

GardenArt Group, Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory

When we were called in to work on this project, it was in shambles. As you can see, we were able to turn the project around, and the clients now enjoy a beautiful hilltop retreat, complete with swimming pool, outdoor bar, spa, split-level fireplaces, an ornamental fountain, and a dining tent.

 

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