Before and After

“English Manor in Beverly Hills”



Before, the front slope was steep and awkward, with lawn not really usable, and no softness to buffer the stonework or set off the house. A generous flowering border with roses and topiary, gaura, and salvia now provide nectar and contrast with the flowing lawn.

English Manor: Front - before
English Manor: Front - after


In this view across the slope, the raised beds were an odd placement for vegetables. Now, flagstone pavers lead you through the grassy meadow; and low retaining walls reduce the steepness of the slope, making it more accessible. A plum tree we planted is young still but promises a spot to picnic under in a few years.

English Manor: Slope - before
English Manor: Slope - after


The pool area was a bit boxy, and the eye had nowhere to land. There was hardly any space for seating, nor planting to soften the space; and the brick needed refinishing. The new pavilion becomes a focal point now—besides anchoring the pool, it provides scale and function.

English Manor: Pool - before
English Manor: Pool - after


Dying trees and eroding slopes were a sad backdrop for this stately home. Decomposed granite pathways, a simple wrought iron railing, and landscape timbers tamed this hillside. We kept one eucalyptus stump as a base for a Moroccan tile tabletop.

English Manor: Hillside - before Mask
English Manor: Hillside - after mask

I love a transformation project. Bring me your overgrown, forgotten garden, where abandoned nature has created a tangled mask—and let me find the beauty therein!
— Laura Morton