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Peninsula People Feb 2018

The backyard perch looks

The backyard perch looks out over the roofline and landscaping. tage points. The stones had fluctuating thicknesses, which had to be accounted for when laying them on the ground. Instead of bringing in new soil, they moved soil and repositioned it to build height in the rear, enhancing the scope and breadth of their home’s perch. This improved the views of the ocean, the concerts and the rural parklands bordering the property. There used to be a water pump on the hillside above the property that would pump water up to a reservoir close to La Venta Inn. The pump is long gone, but parts of the stone structure remain. There was a time, Herbrandson reflects, when the parkland’s hillside was green and there was a stream that was home to frogs that would ribbit through the night. There is still a teeming natural habitat here. They stopped trimming the palm Changing leaves lead up the terraced pathways to a Sapote tree where bees live year-round. fronds when they realized that they served as a habitat for owls who made these trees their home. The Herbrandsons worked for two years to create a botanical experience rich in color regardless of the season. “We like bugs. We wanted a garden that attracted them,” Dean said. The Sapote tree planted by the previous owner is abuzz with bees except for the one month out of the year where it loses its leaves. Their garden is full of native plants that require little water. The Peninsula peacocks are especially fond of the succulents. “We have to plant new succulents every week. The birds eat all the leaves, and when they can’t get a firm grip on the plant anymore, they yank out 32 PeninsulaFebruary 2018

The PV stones collected by Herbrandson himself fit together like a puzzle and are home to a wall of succulents. the whole thing by its roots,” Dean said. There are Winter Lavender, Beach Cannas, Crepe Myrtles, Aloe Vera plants with orange blooms, and double and single Trumpet vines, all amidst a perfectly contoured outdoor environment that has individual rocks fitted together like a puzzle. Some of the boulders Dean collected serve as resting places. Others, including the boulder with the fossilized whale vertebrae, create the feeling of a sculpture garden. The couple’s goal was to create an outdoor environment for entertaining that stretched to the very top of the property. This proved to be no easy feat. Each one of the slabs of stone from India weighed 300 pounds. They were brought in on pallets. It would take a whole day for three workers to make one or two steps. The end result is the Huntington Library gardens meets Hollywood’s Greek Theater – in Palos Verdes. PEN The slabs from India were handcut onsite and dovetailed to enhance their strength and natural beauty. February 2018Peninsula 33