Designing a home for one's parents is how some begin their career and a special way for designers to acknowledge the people who raised them. In a landscape design for his childhood home, James A. Lord, of Surfacedesign, Inc., worked closely with his mother, Hazel, to conceived of a lush garden to unify the contemporary spaces of the mid-century California ranch house with the Mediterranean ambiance of Palos Verdes Estates.
The extensive use of succulents reflects the mother’s and the son’s fascination with using plants to create sculptural forms in the garden. A courtyard, which has always served as the social heart of the Lord home, is organized around a spectacular California Pepper tree. “Fissures” in the courtyard’s sandstone paving were conceived as a direct reference to the family business, as Mr. Lord’s father, sister and brother are distinguished Seismic Structural Engineers in California.