Rejuvenating a Garden That Inspires

As the heart of their community, the central green had become a sea of brown grass. The residents at Vista Del Monte, a highly desirable senior living facility located in Santa Barbara, had deserved better. They needed a space to relax and enjoy, filled with life and color. The residents and management were under direction to reduce their water consumption. However, a dead lawn was not serving the community in any way. McCullough Landscape Architecture was invited to work with the ownership staff, residents and general contractor to imagine a solution that achieved a wide range of goals. The design was primarily focused on facilitating social interaction. Other goals for the design were to be cost-effective, colorful, drought tolerant and a space for promoting outdoor activities.

McCullough’s landscape consisted of many diverse design elements. A few of these elements included:

  • Masses of colorful native plants that mixed with lush woodland species (which are well suited for shady areas beneath the mature pines and magnolias)
  • Special attention was placed on preserving a grove of mature trees that had large root zones, posing a challenge for circulation
  • Soft, curvilinear decomposed granite walkways which swayed through textural, mounded garden areas
  • Quiet seating areas, or pods, were positioned throughout the garden
  • A turf area was reduced by 2/3 through a small formal lawn, allowing a familiar landscape for the residents to remain while also reducing water usage

McCullough has designed a space where the residents are able to fully enjoy the garden  and surrounding nature.

Shawna A. Bortolussi, LEED-AP
Associate Landscape Architect, McCullough Landscape Architecture

McCullough: Experts on Mixed-Use Urban Development

In a recent article published in the San Diego Business Journal, McCullough discusses how Public-Private Space in Mixed-Use Development can transform the landscape of San Diego.

“It’s a neighborhood, a community, and perhaps most importantly home to families and individuals who live, work, and play within their community,” said David McCullough.

As Seen In San Diego Business Journal

Art on the Land

A Clear Vision for San Diego’s Landscape

McCullough Landscape Architecture is featured in the current issue of the San Diego Downtown News. The article by Delle Willett, a veteran journalist known for her reporting on conservation and the environment, begins with the short version of the firm’s history. More importantly, she writes about the firm’s vision — designing sustainable, living environments where people live, work, study and play. David, the firm’s principal landscape architect and Catherine, president of the firm, form a powerhouse of energy and commitment to the built environment.

“I believe our staff, led by my husband, can make an impact on our built environment and am happy to support in making our community a better place.”
Catherine McCullough

Read the Full Article →


SMPS Golf Tournament

We’re sponsors! SMPS San Diego annual golf tournament is just around the corner on June 2. Last day to sign up is May 26th.

It's not too late! Register now



On June 6, the San Diego Architectural Foundation Context Volume 4: Neighborhoods 2027 “aims to shift the public dialogue about new development” in our city. We are also sponsoring this event!

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