Right after buying a home, many new homeowners spend months in a frantic rush to complete crucial interior renovations like paint, flooring, appliances, and kitchen counters. The yard is often something you imagine you will come to “later,” only to remain a brushy mix of dry grass, weeds, and old cobblestones for years. But once you give it some TLC, you’ll realize it should have been a higher priority all along.
Whether your home needs a little curb appeal or you just want to up your game, you’ll need inspiration, and landscape architect Sarita Jaccard has it in spades.
Born in Argentina, Jaccard earned a degree in environmental studies from New York University while studying graphic design, a powerful combination of skills that brought her to where she is today. She moved to Los Angeles and worked for LA landscape artist Art Luna in 2017, setting up her own office two years later. His time with Luna allowed him to transform some of the finest upscale properties in Los Angeles, including artist Henry Taylor’s home in West Adams and the grounds of a Paul R. Williams home in Hollywood.
Jaccard’s projects reveal a keen eye for finding exactly the right plants and design elements to complement a client’s home exterior. Everyone has a particular mood. “Edgecliffe,” for example, has the feel of a modernized cottage garden, with cafe tables nestled among towering wildflowers adjacent to textured brick facades. “West Adams” accents a Spanish-style home with banana trees, spiraling agave rosettes, trumpet blossoms, and striped hammocks. As a Certified California Native Plant Landscaper, Jaccard always incorporates species appropriate to the local climate, especially for pollinator friendly.
Other Jaccard projects are just as fascinating. “Sunkist” celebrates the expanse of Joshua Tree’s landscape. Squares of wooden decking interspersed with circular hot tubs and tables crossing the desert floor, accented by drought-tolerant native plants. “Oneonta” translates similar motifs into a totally different landscape, a wooded patch occupied by a modern pitch-black cabin. Here, harsh landscape elements contrast with an abundance of dark, lush greenery in pleasing spikes and waterfalls.
Sometimes, Jaccard manages to convince clients to modify the exterior of their home according to their collective vision of landscaping. Such was the case with a recent project in Los Angeles, which began with “lots of broken bricks and half-dead grass”. The clients wanted a child-friendly garden filled with drought-tolerant plants that would enhance their view of the surrounding hills of Mount Washington. Jaccard convinced them to paint their house black as a dramatic backdrop, then oriented everything from the entrance walkway to the furniture towards the view.
Strips of small pebbles provide relatively soft but xeriscape-friendly surfaces in the front and back yards, along redwood decking, custom furniture from Blue Pocket Studio, and pockets of native plants. But the best part is the sunken cedar hot tub, which creates the illusion of an endless edge and mirrors an adjacent oak tree.
Jaccard feels a strong connection to the natural world and tells issue magazine, “I am inspired by films, animals, plants, my Argentinian roots, places and things that have a story behind them, perseverance in adversity, cultures outside of mine and people close to me .”
There’s plenty more inspiration to be found on Jaccard’s website and on Instagram @sarita.jaccard.
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