Eichler Landscapes, Old, New, Bad, Good
This one has a pair of Thuja occidentalis that appear to be original plantings. The Thuja would have been modest shrubs for at least two decades. They have slowly taken over.
This one appears to have original or near-original brick work. Note the corner planters, and the edging. The lawn was recently removed, but the rest of the plants--six Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa'--three on each side of the entrance--may be original.
Odd how the boxwood-ringed Syzygium is so meticulously cloud-sheared...
...while the planters crumble. Best not to plant trees in little concrete boxes. That is how it was done back then...
I didn't notice the flamingo until I got home and started looking at the photos.
Cloud-pruned shrubs seems to look right with Eichlers. A slight Asian influence look right also. This next yard looks like it leaned in the direction of Asian style at one time, with the Cycad on the left and sedum groundcover close to the house, but looks like it got a recent update with a few scatted succulents...and a juniper. The Dreaded Dietes has had some of its browned foliage hacked off. Terrible plant.
At a nearby house, this goes too Asian. The lantern is carved granite, not cast concrete, so Not Cheap. Looks like it has been there a long time. There's also a dead lawn and a Phoenix roebelenii. Remains of something that was there and is no longer.
This also has a subtle Asian style due to the plant selection (Nandina, dwarf pine, juniper). This treatment was somewhat popular about fifteen years ago. It's well done, well maintained. The parkway has been allowed to go brown, but the shrubs still mostly look good. The beams and roof are being redone. Eichlers are high maintenance.
The newest landscapes are xeric in style. Here they let the lawn go brown. Just a few plants. Left of the driveway...I like the Beaucarnea but they are too close to the house, and to each other. Just make the path straight, guys. Only drunks walk like that.
A bit more stylish on the right of the drive.
This one had a large, mature pine and Cycad, with succulents recently added.
I like how the rounded stones echo the color in the pine's bark. The gnome is so covered with lichen it looks sort of appropriate.
On the other side of the big pine, they went a little extreme on the pathway, and the small succulents look random. The Euphorbia specimen needs no company--it's worthy of a solitary space, with a boulder or two.
This next has virtues. No, it does. They didn't over plant or under plant, the boulder is a beaut. Unpretentious. However the areas of beach pebble look odd and unnecessary. The central plant surrounded with clumps of fescue is a Plumeria. When it grows taller, its open, sculptural growth habit will make a fine centerpiece to this garden.
While this garden is almost nothing but weeds, the two Yucca on either side of the driveway look good. A simple ground cover, perhaps a few boulders, removal of the weary Callistemon, and a bit of pruning of the Yucca would make an elegant and appropriate front garden.
This garden probably started out well, but is becoming overgrown and in need of maintenance.
Chairs as decoration, not sitting?
It has a lush appearance.
The grass has been sliced off so pedestrians can pass. It's planted too close to the sidewalk.
Not a blue glass fan. It's like white gravel, only blue.
This one might be a work in progress. The lawn has been removed. An example of why trees should not be planted too close to structures.
Unfortunately, the Schinus tree is out of proportion to the home. Note the top of the Liquidambar tree is dead (circled in purple). There were several trees like this in the area. When the grass is no longer watered, the trees can suffer.
Okay, I'm crazy, but I like the simplicity here. There was a lawn, half-dead rosemary and lavender in the planter, and that conifer buzzed into a pill shape. Maybe it is a crazy statement, but it's a statement.
Here's the latest landscape. It's quite nice, though it seems too contemporary, somehow, for the mid-20th century vibe.
A bright orange door is often the only non-green color in many of the front gardens. Here the usual concrete planter filed with Sanseverias has been updated to rectangular containers filled with Sanseverias.
The Cor-ten wall is nice, but the reason for it is...?
This one is native/xeric/shrubby, and well maintained. Not bad as a xeric front garden, but does it complement the sleek lines of the house?
Maintenance disaster. I did admire the globe-shaped porch lights (in pink circle). All the flat rectangular lines and shapes make the globes a relief.
Very recently redone, but another maintenance disaster. There were Anigozanthos along the foundation; they've all died. Some desperate milkweed along the driveway. Someone decided to go edible and put in a few kernels of corn. Maintenance matters.
This next is my favorite, but the photos are not great. A blue grass, a green grass, an Arctostaphylos, and some Agaves. Very elegant and simple.
Instead of three Agave desmetianas, two and an A. vilmoriniana. It worked. It made simple just slightly less simple.
The parkway (hellstrip) had green...grass...and blue....uh...Schizachyrium scoparium? Simple but not too simple.
A place to sit down while you water the planter?
Doorway lions. No. Not even wearing if they were wearing Elvis outfits.
Interesting paint job, but not well crafted--the lines wobble. Painters tape wasn't as good back then. Points for imagination. The large wide escutcheon on the doorknob is original and period.
It gets better. The homes are so linear and rectangular, like the globe porch lights seen earlier, these circle steppers work, even if the edging and stone are a mess.
The flamingos are from the same era as the homes. They work. What if they were orange, like the door?
Sleek and simple. Yes.