Post Oak Hotel - Originality in Door Hardware

Our work in the Post Oak Hotel in Houston began in spring 2015 and culminated in our designing and manufacturing 3 unique door handles. The design process was a collaborative process and we were fortunate to work with Gensler in Houston and their wonderful creative team of designers and architects.

The first concept drawings were for the smaller 12” closet and shower doors and 2 alternative handles were designed and cast as protypes in steel for the model room. For those unfamiliar with the process, the model or mock-up room is where alternative samples of fabric, wall covering, and hardware are assembled for review and hopefully selection. We had submitted 2 handles for the barn doors and our braid prototype was selected as the handle for the closet, shower and French doo

Braid designs original and revised.jpg



The braid handle was inspired by an image of a chain bracelet that the Gensler team were using as a starting point. The interlocking woven nature of a gold chain was re-conceived by Martin Pierce as rows of braided rope that would ensconce a rod of solid steel.



The alternative handle “ribbon” was a more abstract design loosely based on vertebrae and building blocks.

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In posts that follow we will be sharing photos of these pieces and will continue to discuss the other original handle designs made for this luxury hotel.

New Directions in Custom Door Hardware, Lighting and Art

Starting a new year always provides impetus for new designs for our wide range of door hardware, lighting and now art. While the creative process lacks boundaries, the demands of work place requires that we treat these 3 areas differently, with “art” still being relegated to third position almost as an indulgence. This year we intend to indulge ourselves.


Art

Bronze Stag Beetle 20”W 15”D 6”H Limited Edition

Bronze Stag Beetle 20”W 15”D 6”H Limited Edition

Over the last few years when time permitted Martin Pierce has been sculpting and painting large scale insects and what he sees as their small-scale humanoid companions, the scale is deliberate and focuses attention on the species that matters. Sculpting insects began when Martin sculpted his first “Hornet on Apple” sculpture which was carved in Yew- wood in England in 1977. His most recent insect sculptures are stag beetles rendered in bronze or steel and available as single freestanding pieces or as dueling pairs mounted on tree bark cast in bronze

Tall Door Handles

Perhaps another indulgence but the scale of large door grips provides the opportunity to create some beautiful pieces. The brand of a hotel or resort can at once both inspire and restrain a design and that challenge is what makes custom commercial door handles fun to conceive and cast.

Lighting

As our door grips become longer so too do the illuminated Morphic door handles. These organic lace- like handles will be customized in 2019 to offer a range of lengths from 16” to 64” and we are experimenting with a version of this handle that would have alternating sections of steel and bronze.

Shown 16” to 32”H but new taller sizes in development

Shown 16” to 32”H but new taller sizes in development




Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from Martin Pierce Custom Door Hardware

raven-sculpture

It has been quite a bustling creative year making door handles and creating a wide range of custom door hardware. Our work took center stage at the Gensler designed Post Oak Hotel in Houston with large lace and oak styled handles for the public areas and braid inspired handles for all of the suites and we will be sharing more of this project’s highlights in early January.


Martin’s raven has taken a back-seat to the demands of these large projects but I am pleased to report that the raven mold has been created and his first red wax replica has emerged.


We look forward to a creative 2019 and wish you all well.


Anne and Martin Pierce

Bunny, Bee and Frog Door Knobs - animal door knobs

Whimsical pairings for a magician - this may sound like the title to a children’s novel but in the context of door hardware perfectly describes an order we have just completed for James Shafer’s magical solutions store opening soon in Columbus, Ohio. A full description of this enchanting enterprise can be found at;

https://www.hierophanyandhedge.com/

As befits a magician, James strayed from the path of “sameness” and instead conjured up a fun set of door handles using the animal knobs from our netsuke collection and the swirling leaf escutcheon plates from our willow collection. The results were beautiful and whimsical and could well have been illustrations for a children’s book.

Bunny knob dark oil rubbed patina

Bunny knob dark oil rubbed patina

 

The sets were cast in solid bronze and finished with a dark antique oil-rubbed patina. Each piece was burnished by hand to highlight the bronze tones of the raised sections making the leaf veins and wing and ear details more pronounced and creating a sense of depth through the contrasting light and dark areas.

Burnishing the wing veins to accentuate the golden bronze beneath

Burnishing the wing veins to accentuate the golden bronze beneath

 

We have mixed  and matched  our door styles for other clients and readers will recall the willow knob being used as an entry set with a medium bark back-plate in a very creative residential remodel by Los Angeles Designer Bonnie Mcintyre.

Creating a custom door knob using old world methods

We have in the past discussed the pros and cons of using 3d printing in the casting process and return to this topic to describe our most recent commission. The willow door knob was featured in the last post and coincidentally it is this piece that inspired the current work. While it is technically a door knob it’s scale is regal and it was designed to take center stage as a dramatic door statement. When first designed the piece was intended to be used as non-operative pull that would be used to open an entry door but with a separate thumb latch trim operating the door latch as is shown in the photo.

First Willow Knob

First Willow Knob

In European doors particularly in the baroque period such grand knobs often fully functioned to open and close the door and a local artisan would fabricate a mortise latch for a very deep back-set to reach the center of the door. With this in mind the second Willow knob was designed in 2 pieces with the knob being separate from the back-plate and mounted on a spindle that can be rotated to activate the door latch.

The current commission uses the same concept but the style of knob is simpler with no filigree and is designed for a less ornate setting. The Willow knob being elliptical and with many layers of filigree was carved over a period of weeks. Our commissioned knob needs to be made from design to delivery in 10 weeks and will be cast in stainless steel. As the piece is symmetrical circular and as we have a great pool of lathe artisans in Los Angeles we have found that it is faster to slab up a block of wood and have it turned on a manual lathe rather than 3d printed.



Hidden elements of artistic door handles

Intricately detailed bronze door handles cast in investment caliber bronze are our hallmark but often these details go un-noticed.

The Willow heroic door knob is the signature piece in the Willow collection of bronze entry and interior door handles. Cast in bronze the entwined leaves are finely detailed to create a veritable vortex of swirling filigree. Made in 2 sections the backplate alone is 6.5 lbs. with the center a further 2.0 lbs. making a total of 8.5 lbs. of investment grade bronze. While bronze may not be as precious as gold it still holds its value over time especially when artistic value is added. This door knob is 11” tall by 7” wide and 4” deep (279 x178 x 102mm) and its scale deservedly gained it the title “heroic”.

The Grapevine large door is sizeable at 3"W x 4"D x 42 ½"H (76 x 102 x 1080mm) and contains 11 lbs. of bronze. There are some small difficult to spot details in this piece that remind me of Gringling Gibbons the legendary 17th century Royal wood carver whose works are world renowned for the amount and depth of his relief carvings. Gibbons is known for his 3-dimensional carved leaves, flowers and berries but he also carved more lurid hanging fowl and human skulls. While free of human bones the Grapevine pull does have the odd beetle so may not be suited to those with an insect phobia. For the collectors among us this statement piece is part of a limited edition of 100.

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Fibrous gnarly tendrils of bronze cling to the center stem.

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Hidden details

Hidden details

 

Fine Details Define Luxury Door Hardware

I have recently been tasked with organizing hundreds of photographs we have for our door handles, cabinet pulls and bathroom accessories and so have been revisiting some of the close -up shots of our more detailed unusual handles and decided to share some of the images in a post.

The phrase “the devil is in the details” sums up perfectly our view on fine door hardware but where did the phrase come from and what does it mean when applied to door hardware? A google search brought me to the site; phrases.org.uk which is devoted to the origin of sayings, and is well worth bookmarking. The phrase probably dates back to the 1800’s and is attributed to several likely authors and originally was expressed as “the God is in the details” and like the modern version suggests that whatever one makes should be done well and with due regard for the finer points or details.

As hardware artists this has shaped our door hardware in 2 distinctive ways;

When creating the original pattern Martin Pierce spends hours, days and often weeks carving fine details into the wooden pattern to achieve an intricate piece that will become the parent of all the castings that are made from the mold. Devoting the time it takes to create these artistic details jettisons our work into the luxury market.

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The mantra also impacts the lengths we will go to achieve the completeness of a style. In our lizard collection it was important that the ancillary trim for the door lock followed the lizard theme, so we spent time planning and designing a very natural accompaniment.

Similarly, when tasked with a commission for a Willow style cremone latch while the commission did not specify a custom trim for the bolt, this was a detail we felt was needed for completeness.

Hedgerow Custom Cabinet Pulls - a new direction

We really enjoy working with creative designers and Bonnie McIntire is one of our favorites in this select group. A couple of years ago we had the pleasure of working with Bonnie and created a hybrid entry door set that combined the willow and lizard collections to produce a Willow Bark entry knob set for a Bel Air residence. This was not an obvious combination of styles, but the result was a playful balanced pairing.

luxury-door-hardware

The Willow theme continued through to the kitchen where willow cabinet knobs provided the stopping point for rows of hedgerow branch pulls. While the branch pulls functioned well as pulls for opening drawers, one bank of drawers were situated in a high traffic area where there was little room to pass and to reach the upper cabinets. Unlike cabinet knobs, pulls are generally not self-contained and often the end of the pull for aesthetic balance extends beyond the mounting post and can in confined areas catch on tea towels etc.

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When we cast our pieces, we make a wax model and if the number of pieces is not daunting we can make modifications to each wax piece at this stage before the pieces are shelled and cast in bronze. In this case we shortened the top of the pull so that it ended at the mounting post and re-worked the textured indentations and shape to retain aesthetic balance. The result will be a pleasing variation of the branch pull and one that will work with the existing screw holes. If the number of pieces or the amount of labor had been greater then we would have made a new original to incorporate these changes and then created a new mold.

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We will keep you posted as we proceed to cast these pieces in bronze.

Are Contemporary Door Handles also Modern Door Handles - untangling semantics

Being a product of the 50’s and later being influenced by the 1960’s mod culture I have often used the adjectives modern and contemporary interchangeably and see that many search engines also assume these terms are synonymous.

Various dictionaries define contemporary as meaning to live or be from the same time so clearly the word can be used to describe past periods as in “Gaudi and Mackintosh were contemporary architects”. By comparison the word modern is defined as being in the present or in recent times and does not have the historical breadth as the word contemporary. That said, social trends and common usage may have the biggest impact on a word’s meaning and while the word modern was, in the 1960’s understood to mean to fashionable or hip, the word now seems a little dated. Lately I find myself describing my Martin’s designs as futuristic which is not surprising given his fondness for sci-fi. So, when you look at these pictures of our work use whatever term you think fits!”

The Morphic serpentine door pulls when cast in stainless steel do appear a little alien and while the first film in the alien series is one that Martin has seen countless times the lead alien was not a model for this pull.

Perhaps the offspring of the alien may have had a more direct impact on the Morphic door knob.

Thankfully the more “modern” Ergo lever has it’s roots in the art nouveau period.




Custom cabinet hardware and the challenge of creating steel replicas of pewter castings

We were recently commissioned to replicate cabinet handles from the 1920’s for use in other areas of a home being renovated. It was not possible to establish the base metal used for the originals without damaging the pieces and our best guess was possibly the castings were made in pewter or nickel. While the metal alloy did not impact our ability to replicate the shape of these 3 cabinet pieces it did present us with interesting patina and finish choices.

We began the project by carefully cleaning the originals so that we could get a good impression in our latex rubber mold. As the pieces were small simple shapes we were able to make a single two-part mold that would accommodate all 3. We could have made individual molds for each piece but given that we were making less than 50 pieces this would not have been cost effective. We made a simple mold and after cleaning the originals sprayed on a release agent making them easier to later extract from the latex mold.

The photo below shows the red waxes that were made from this type of mold using Westech’s V510 wax V510 that has melting range of 185° to 195°. The originals were made for different screw threads, but the replicas need to suit modern needs so were drilled and tapped for a uniform 8-32 threaded screw. Stainless steel is an excellent durable alloy but needs to be heated when applying Birchwood’s M20 dark patina. As an added measure we baked the pieces in a clear matt enamel to protect the patina and give a very subtle sheen.

After Patina Applied and with Clear Enamel Baked On

After Patina Applied and with Clear Enamel Baked On

In steel before finishing and in red wax

In steel before finishing and in red wax

Luxury Home with Star Gazing Observatory

As a brand that specializes in unusual custom hardware we have over the years created unique door handles for hotels and luxury homes, but this year marks our first venture into designing door handles for a private observatory.

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When contacted by LM Design Group, an international Los Angeles based design group we did not appreciate that the sketch they provided of moon handles was for an observatory for an overseas villa.

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The commission came at an opportune time as we had obtained UL approval for our new line of illuminated handles and were able to take this technical know how and configure the LED lights to work inside a concave moon fixture.In a previous post we shared a short video showing how Martin carved and hollowed out the concave basswood pattern that was the base for the door handle. The pattern was coated with a ¼” of gesso which formed a surface that could be carved to create moon craters and stylized moon texture.

moon-texture-door-handle.jpg



The image below shows the pattern after carving the gesso was sprayed with a grey color before being carved as the natural white gesso is to reflective making it difficult to carve as depth is more easily judged on a colored surface. The image to the right shows the same approximate area as rendered in bronze and finished with a dark antique M20 patina.



While the original design was to be open with light shining through to the bronze back panel the client preferred a softer light, so we added a custom plexiglass diffuser.

Your name Cabinet Pulls

Using a family font as a custom cabinet pull.

We are often asked to make custom door handles and custom cabinet pulls but not all requests can be met so I wanted to share with you a recent project we have just completed.

The home owner was remodeling his kitchen and wanted to use his simple but specific family business brand to create cabinet pulls. The client had 2 good digital files showing the front and side of his JJ font and as I shared in an earlier post we were able to use this to create a 3D model. Once the model was complete a mold for the single and double JJ 2 was created, wax replicas were made and shelled and finally steel castings were poured.

Brand Name Custom Cabinet Pull

Brand Name Custom Cabinet Pull

The project was one we were happy to make for following reasons.

While the clients budget was fairly modest the design was not overly complicated and the 3D modeling could be done easily as there were excellent pdf files that showed the front and profiles of the J font and they were scaled to size. The quality of the files helped keep the modelling costs down and helped speed the production process.

your-name-cabinet-pull.jpg



The client had planned for the fact that cabinet doors are directional and can be either left or right handed and he creatively chose a design that could be inverted to make either a left or right pull. As the budget was limited this was a relief as we had only one tool for the larger J’s and the smaller double JJ’s.

The cabinet pulls were cast in stainless steel and were brushed by hand for a simple but chic look.

We made a total of 80 pulls from start to finish in 12 weeks.





Mixing it up with Bee Door Knobs and their Lizard Friends

The nature inspired Netsuke door handle collection was not conceived as an interchangeable series, but thankfully creative interior designers have conjured up imaginative ways to use these as combination door handle sets. Case in point is a recent project where the bee door knob was paired with the lizard door knob to create a whimsical statement. The sets were specified in polished bronze to create a stunning jewel like set for a custom makeover of the master bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom privacy set used a simple push-pin latch on the honey comb side with a discreet emergency release on the bark rose side of the door (exterior).

lizard door knob.jpg

Our door handle knob sets are connected with a square 8mm spindle that is attached to each knob with a set screw or Allen screw. As we use the same type of spindle for all our door knobs most of the knobs are interchangeable. Since other door hardware manufactures use different spindles and methods of attachment our knobs may not be suited as half sets with knobs supplied by others.

whimsical door knob.jpg

The Netsuke collection comprises 4 interchangeable animal knobs including a rabbit, frog, bee and lizard making them popular choices for children’s bedrooms. While whimsical in nature, these animal knobs are finely detailed and cast in solid bronze with each knob using a lb. of molten bronze.

As a transitional set that bridges the classical with whimsical you may want to consider the Hedgerow and Willow knob on the more public exterior side of your door with a Netsuke knob on the more private interior side.

Unique Metal Door Pulls - Influence of Medium and Luster

Our contemporary door handles, Morphic and Ergo are usually seen in a polished or satin or 2 tone finish. Each finish can give a different aesthetic to the same handle allowing the same handle to be employed in different areas to different effect.


These 2 modern collections of door handles can be cast either in bronze or in stainless steel and the appearance and mood is very different. When you add the textural layer from smooth, to satin to brushed you achieve even greater scope of use.

Consider the Ergo heroic pull as shown here.

Ergo bronze and steel.jpg

The Ergo pull shown on the left is cast 316 stainless steel while the image on the right is silicon bronze. Both were cast using the same mold and by means of the lost wax method of casting. Both metals are resistant to corrosion but the stainless steel is more easy to maintain without the need for any type of sealant. By comparison the bronze unless sealed will tend to become more yellow over time.

As the Ergo handle is extremely fluid with deep recessed areas it lends itself to a sophisticated 2 tone finish. In the detail photo shown below different facets of the handles have been polished or sand blasted to create contrast and depth.

Ergo 2 tone bronze steel .jpg

Write here…

Compare the top sand blasted section of the steel wave to the same section of the bronze version.

Ergo wave bronze and steel .jpg






Unique Metal Door Pulls - Influence of Medium and Luster

Our contemporary door handles, Morphic and Ergo are usually seen in a polished or satin or 2 tone finish. Each finish can give a different aesthetic to the same handle allowing the same handle to be employed in different areas to different effect.


These 2 modern collections of door handles can be cast either in bronze or in stainless steel and the appearance and mood is very different. When you add the textural layer from smooth, to satin to brushed you achieve even greater scope of use.

Consider the Ergo heroic pull as shown here.

Ergo bronze and steel.jpg

The Ergo pull shown on the left is cast 316 stainless steel while the image on the right is silicon bronze. Both were cast using the same mold and by means of the lost wax method of casting. Both metals are resistant to corrosion but the stainless steel is more easy to maintain without the need for any type of sealant. By comparison the bronze unless sealed will tend to become more yellow over time.

As the Ergo handle is extremely fluid with deep recessed areas it lends itself to a sophisticated 2 tone finish. In the detail photo shown below different facets of the handles have been polished or sand blasted to create contrast and depth.

Ergo 2 tone bronze steel .jpg

Write here…

Compare the top sand blasted section of the steel wave to the same section of the bronze version.

Ergo wave bronze and steel .jpg






Luxury Home Bathroom Accessories

Whether it be the guests’ powder room or the master bedroom spa choosing a unique soap dish or intricately detailed towel rail can finesse to even the smallest space and can make a striking addition to even the most modest bathroom makeover.

While this custom towel rail was designed to be used in an opulent yacht setting, by choosing a nature inspired design and a more rustic bronze medium this unique towel rail is both modest and luxurious. Had this piece been rendered in polished bronze the appearance would have been garish.

luxury-towel-rail.jpg

 

Polished towel rails and other bathroom accessories do have their place in any bathroom makeover but consider using a more sophisticated two-tone finish such as the one used below on the Ergo towel rail where the polished facets are softened by satin finished contours. The effect is labor intensive requiring  each piece to be firstly hand polished and then masked so that the contours can be subdued by hand brushing, the result though is a subtle and very tactile towel rail.

 

Our contemporary bathroom accessories in both the Ergo and Morphic collections are typically ordered in stainless steel a medium that plays well in any contemporary bathroom makeover. By comparison the more classical Hedgerow and Willow towel rails and soap dishes are used in both transitional and rustic bathrooms. That said the Ergo style can work equally well when cast in bronze and finished with an oil rubbed antique patina which gives it a more arts and crafts appearance.

Labor Day - Drought Tolerant Labor of love

The drought tolerant garden and front curb are almost complete needing only the final but vital drip systems to be installed. The drip system will deliver water to the location of each plant set on a timer for 10 minutes twice weekly to begin with and then hopefully on a weekly plan.

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Stages recapped;

Soil and root removal.

We removed about 2” of top soil and dug up as many roots from the old grass as we could, this was laborious hard work but meant that no weed killer or other toxin was used in the process.The remaining soil was then compacted manually with a tamper.

Planning areas, laying weed barrier, adding top layers

The garden was mapped out with stakes separating areas that would be pathways and seating from areas devoted to plants. A shallow 2” trench was dug along the perimeter separating these areas and a flexible  4” barrier was laid down and secured with plastic stakes. The entire area was then covered with a black cloth weed barrier. For the pathways and seating areas we then added 2” of sand colored decomposed granite which was applied in successive layers, each layer being compacted using both a mechanical vibrating plate compactor and a tamper in more confined spaces. For the pathway and seating area and before adding the d.g. we placed random shaped 2” thick stone. As the d.g. was stabilized each compacted layer was sprayed with water to activate the stabilizing bonding agent.

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Where we were adding plants, we cut through the weed barrier and dug out a hole for each plant before filling with a combination of sand and enriched planting soil. The front curb was then finished with another layer of d.g. again compacted and activated with water.

We used loose sand around each of the plants in the front garden and finished this with pea gravel. We have reconsidered this plan as we are concerned that the pea gravel may retain too much heat to the detriment of the society garlic. As a remedy we will be pushing the gravel away from the garlic to create a berm to keep the garlic surrounded by cooler sand.

Making a drought tolerant garden part 2

We have now removed 2” of top soil from the curb and in a fit of eagerness decided to rip out the sad dying grass in the front garden. The soil was removed to take out the tenacious grass roots as well as create space for the new sandy soil that is better suited to agave plants that require good drainage.

 If you live in Los Angeles you can dispose of your unwanted soil at one of the city’s landfill facilities you will be charged by the ton and will have to haul it yourself.

Front garden.jpg

 

The next step will be to compact the remaining soil so that a weed barrier can be laid flat on top to act as a taut surface for the decomposed granite (d.g.) The soil could be compacted manually with a tamper but as we are also compacting 2” of loose d.g. we will be renting a flat- bed compactor from our local Home Depot.

The front garden has been designed so that there will be 2 types of terrain, one for walking and one that will be decorative with drought tolerant plants and pea gravel. We have chosen a gold d.g. that is very fine for the walkways and a natural mixed pea gravel for the planted areas. The supplier of both materials,  All Valley Sand and Gravel has a useful site calculator that helped me gauge how much of each to buy and thankfully as we need a few tons of each they also will deliver to the Los Angeles area.

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With the help of Alex at All Valley Sand and Gravel we were able to see samples of pea gravel, d.g. and crushed 1” natural rocks and elected to use the pea gravel as it will bed down more easily and will be less problematic underfoot.

 

Creating custom cabinet pulls and knobs

We have recently been commissioned by a home owner and a designer to create custom cabinet knobs and pulls for their respective bedroom and kitchen. The designer approached us with the task of creating 3 styles and sizes of cabinet knob to replace and supplement the ones in the home owners period property. In this case the existing original pieces were in excellent condition and could be used as patterns for a sectional mold that was constructed in silicone rubber.

The second commission was to create a completely new cabinet pull that would use the client’s distinctive family cattle brand as a model for the cabinet doors and drawers. The client did not have a physical piece that could directly be used to form a mold, but he did have a pdf file of the family font and from this we were able to create a 3D CAD model.

CAD File Created Using Client’s Font File

SMALL JJ_Iso View.jpg

Both projects will be poured in stainless steel using the lost wax method rather than using 3D Stereolithographic printing. As the molds for both projects are relatively simple one-part molds the upfront costs for design adaptation and mold creation were relatively low and added little to the per unit cost of the pulls. The number of units ordered was also modest ranging from 50 to 75 pieces, but it will be was enough to cover the cost of pouring a smaller crucible of steel.

First Waxes Created from New Mold Ready to be Shelled

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JJ wax 2.jpg

 

Planning a drought tolerant sidewalk

 I am planning a small drought tolerant garden for the area in front of my sidewalk and will be documenting my progress here.

The area is 3’ wide by 50’ long and has scattering of grass that is minimally watered by sprinklers.

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I plan to replace the grass with 2 borders of drought tolerant society garlic and a center section of dramatic agave plants.

There is a plethora of information and imagery on line devoted to the subject of drought resistant plants so choosing the color and species was not daunting. Once my choices had been narrowed down I turned to a local grower, Shelly Jennings of Worldwide Exotic Plants to find suitable sized plants. My goal was to find a medium sized agave that would serve as a focal point without becoming too unruly. Shelly’s nursery is large both in size and in the amazing variety of agave, aloe, grasses and shrubs making it a great one stop shop for my project.

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I chose a total of 12 Agave Univatata Aurea for the central section and will be adding 50 white and blue flowering garlic later for the borders. The agave will be space about 4’ apart and the garlic will be spaced at similar intervals but off center to the agave. The agave will produce smaller “baby” plants some of which I will keep for future use and the garlic will create bulb offspring which I will leave to  fill out the border.

Ground preparation:

Since I do not want to use any chemicals to kill the existing grass we will dig down to a 6” depth and remove both the soil and fine grass roots. Agaves need soil that drains well so the replacement soil will be a combination of sand mixed with potting mix.

Once the top soil is in place I will then have to decide whether to lay a series of drip lines or to water by hand. The existing water pipe is old and ugly but running a new line will be costly and logistically challenging as it would need to run under the sidewalk.

Once established both the agave and garlic plants will not require much water but when first planted the garlic will need to be watered 3 to 4 times a week. For this reason, I am planning on adding the garlic in the fall when hopefully we have less brutal heat.

To help retain moisture and to curtail weeds the top soil will be held in place by gravel. I have chosen Golden Coast gravel as the golden red tones will provide a nice contrast to the green, blue, purple and white plant colors. The gravel is not difficult to find and as I have a truck I was able to pick this up at a reasonable price from Prime Building Materials located in Sylmar.

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