Bel Air turf transformation
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Photos: Bel-Air turf transformation

Bel Air turf transformation
The new drought tolerant garden of Amy Lippman and Rodman Flender extends the footprint of the Spanish home. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Bel Air turf transformation
The lawn and back patio before they were removed and redesigned. (Courtesy of Naomi Sanders )
Bel Air turf transformation
Thyme grows in between flagstone pavers. (Katie Falkenberg)
Bel Air turf transformation
The new garden provides privacy between the main house and guest house. (Katie Falkenberg)
Bel Air turf transformation
A pepper tree breaks up the yard and creates privacy between the main house and the guest house. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Bel Air turf transformation
Agave Blue Glow, dwarf olive, Madagascar jasmine and potted plants frame the new patio overlooking the backyard. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Bel Air turf transformation
BEL AIR, CA-NOVEMBER 2, 2018: the garden of Amy Lippman and Rodman Flender. Lippman is the writer producer for Masters of Sex (2013-16) and Party of Five (1994-2000, 2019). Flender is also a director and producer. The sizeable lawn once surrounding this traditional 1920s Spanish style home (former residence of writer/producer/director Ken Hughes, 1922-2001, of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame) was removed and replaced with a thoughtful Mediterranean garden that maintains the property’s formal language while introducing a drought tolerant plant palette. The design features edible elements (herbs, potted fruit trees, citrus espalier), a central water feature and vegetation steeped in symbolism (pomegranates, olive trees). The reimagined landscape honors the client’s desire for privacy and a space that can seamlessly function for both entertaining and quiet reflection. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times) (Katie Falkenberg)
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
“It is a classic California Mission Revival example of a large outdoor ‘room,’ a less formal mirroring of the parlor on the opposite side of the wall,” Allen says. “We wanted it to be so comfortable that all summer could be spent out there.” (Katie Falkenberg )
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
The homeowners hired Los Angeles-based landscape designer Naomi Sanders to help them “revive the garden, use less water and break up the space” after seeing her work on the gardening website Gardenista(Katie Falkenberg )
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
The design features edible elements (herbs, potted fruit trees, citrus espalier). Here, mint grows in the entrance to the garden. (Katie Falkenberg)
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio.’ (Katie Falkenberg )
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast.’ (Katie Falkenberg )
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Vitex trifolia ‘Purpurea.’ (Katie Falkenberg )
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Hedera helix (Ivy) is also present. The reimagined landscape honors the client’s desire for privacy and a space that can seamlessly function for both entertaining and quiet reflection. (Katie Falkenberg )
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
It offers a secluded space that can seamlessly function for both entertaining and quiet reflection. (Katie Falkenberg)
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Agave Blue Glow. (Katie Falkenberg)
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast.’ (Katie Falkenberg)
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Despite all the new installations, the project allows for easy access to the pool area — and a private feel. (Katie Falkenberg )
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Now, it’s a welcoming place to read, relax or snooze. (Katie Falkenberg )
Bel Air turf transformation

A view of the pool from the lower shade garden. 

 (Katie Falkenberg )
Bel Air turf transformation

The lower terrace shade garden adjacent to the pool. 

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
A Bel-Air garden is transformed
Solandra maxima climbs above the outdoor shower in the pool area.   “The garden completely changed the way we use the house,” Lippman adds. “We have breakfast out there. We work out there. It’s never too hot because we installed fans. It’s shaded and lovely. We use it all the time. It is like getting a new house in a way.” (Katie Falkenberg )
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