Uniquely Garden Hortica


Garden Hortica gets GOLD at
2014 San Francisco Flower Garden Show
Sanctuary Steppes

Sanctuary...a handcrafted yurt in a garden of rocks, trees and plants.  Cross a dry creek.  Trees, bushes and grasses selected are commonly found in the Steppes.  Walk along a path of flagstones flanked by terraced grasses with different textures and colors.  Ahead the yurt's hand painted roof has a symbolic bold cloud band pattern:  blue = sky/water; red = fire/life; black = metal/earth; white background = air/aether.  The Vine of the Soul is hand painted on the walls.  Walk clockwise around the yurt.  Medicinal and herbal plants are cultivated.  Step inside the yurt barefoot.  Touch the earth.  Sit. Tea. Sanctuary.

Sanctuary Steppes...the other one...

Sanctuary Steppes at Village Yurts...work in progress

After a five year hiatus we are back! 
Our garden design entry is called Sanctuary Steppes.
Your inspiration...you rush to get the kids to school, errands to run, meals to prep, house chores, plus long work hours.  It's overwhelming.  Wouldnt it be nice if you had a getaway space of your own, one where you can just kickback but not have to travel afar to it, to de-stress, gather your energy or chill.  In other words your own sanctuary...just steps away...like in your backyard.

So what is your sanctuary? Here's ours...

Remember how excited you got as a kid when you used Mom's bed sheet to make a tent in the backyard? You and your buddies thought it was the coolest thing ever.  Yurts have that effect on kids.  As adults our needs are more.  

Imagine a garden sanctuary where you enter a realm that soothes and calms.  The healing plants or herbs are not just ornamental. Inside the yurt you touch the earth.  You can even gaze at the stars through that opening.  The paths are for walking meditation.  The open courtyard and fire pit are for story telling late into the night.  Other sculptural elements awaken us to be mindful of many things.

Above Sanctuary Steppes at Village Yurts, phase 1 unveiling.

Its a few years now since I designed the landscape for the Bennett House in East Hampton, NY.  Below are some pictures of the pebble mosaic paths.  This has a story...the pebbles were hand picked and sent from China.  A local crew made a metal template of the persimmon pattern to make the pebble mosaic slabs before setting them.  The other pattern is not as simple as the black and white checkerboard shown.  Just good hand craftsmanship of an ageless aesthetic!

The client wanted a prayer wheel installed.  Here the prayer wheel sits in the center of a chakra or wheel of knowledge. As you walk up the path to the house you spin the wheel in one direction and do the same leaving.  

I am really proud and happy that this project captures some spiritual essence which the client wanted.

Please contact me for your project.





The Courtyard at 10th Ave.

Project:  Very ugly courtyard 700 sf in a multi-unit apartment

Challenge: 1.  Usable outdoor space with minimum plant
 2.  Tight budget.

Design:1.  Use ample hardscape materials like rocks and two                        different size of gravel. 
2.  Use re-purposed materials like pots, plants and
          other garden elements.
3.  Key design elements:-
a.  Salvage look huge clay vessels some broken
b.  Focal point tribal hornbill totem pole
c.  Whimsy guardian frogs.
d.  Reclaimed timber pillars formerly wheel
e.  Plant containers of various heights.
f.  Art imitates life garden art.
4.  Plant suggestions:  mostly succulents (to be

Concluding Act:  Two big chunks of petrified wood to anchor
lower left corner.  More plants.  Selective garden sculputures and site furnishings.  




For more pics on this project please go to the following link:


Garden Hortica's retail store is closed.

However the contents here are archival to demonstrate our vision of what urban gardens can be.
We will from time to time share pictures of good garden design or garden related images.

We are still available for consultation and garden design.
Please contact Jeffrey at 510-763-5405.

You can get more current news by following us at our Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/gardenhorticaplace


Archival Material

Park(ing) Day Sep 17 on Lakeshore

Garden Hortica's parklet for the day on Lakeshore Sep 17, 2011

Art in the Garden, Aug 13 & 14, 2011

Above one of the LIVE Art pieces by Hyde at Art in the Garden held in Aug 13 & 14, 2011.

Below, Chalk Artist Hien's 'Lotus' at the same event.

Garden Hortica voted Best Empty Lot Conversion by

East Bay Express (point here)

Music in the Gardens

Garden Hortica hosted Music in the Gardens on the evening of July 16, 2011.  Once again we accomplished one of our goals of turning vacant ugly lots into a multi-use urban garden community gathering space. Please visit our facebook page (click link below) for more pics.

For a video of this event please point here:
BlankTeaChronicles Music In the Garden

We can plan, design and build such a space for your 'hood with great design panache!  Contact us!

Above part of the crowd at Music in the Garden on Jul 16, 2011.  Garden Hortica is a most unique space for your private event.  We can arrange for live music, entertainment, food and drink, even garden gifts for your guests.  Contact us!

First Annivesary

Garden Hortica celebrated its FIRST ANNIVERSARY April 23, 2011 in downtownOakland where urban nursery meets garden design.  We unveiled more design elements like the GH Letterbox Planters and the GHScreen Panel gates.

Below our own proprietary designed GH LetterBox Planters which doubles up as planters and signage.  Contact us if you want a Letterbox Planter for your business or garden.

where urban nursery meets garden design...

GH Screen Panel Gates installed to celebrate our first anniversary!  Again our own design. These are great as garden room dividers or gateways.  We do design and make these panels.

First Annual Fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters held at Garden Hortica on Oct 16, 2010.

Succulents and cacti container gardens.


Welcome to Garden Hortica where urban nursery meets garden design...

How do you choose to live?  How about immersed in nature? With plants of beauty.  Or with food for the plucking?

At Garden Hortica we can combine good garden design and an urban food garden aesthetically so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor together with a beautiful garden space. 

An ultimate experience is a well designed edibles and plant garden surrounded by food crops where you can harvest and enjoy the bounty of the earth right there.

Imagine alfresco dining...where your guests get to pick the lettuce and tomatoes fresh off the vine or the egg plant and bell peppers for the grill...right in a well designed garden space where urban agriculture meets garden design...

This is what Garden Hortica can do for your home, your school even your community.  We did...we converted an unused ugly lot into an urban garden designed nursery and food garden in our first year.

You can see a prototype of this vision at Garden Hortica on 7th St. and Gerry Adams in downtown Oakland.

Garden Hortica on 7th St Oakland

Finally we are ready to hold our first garden event at GH on 7th aka Old Oakland.  Come celebrate and see what we have transformed in two months.  What was then a vacant lot is now a space where urban agri meets garden design.

Above Garden Hortica on 7th St Oakland Gateway

Now you can get updates of what goes on in GH on 7th.

Join us and follow what we do at GH on 7th via Facebook.  Do a search for Garden Hortica Oakland, click on 'Like' and you are there!  Or click below:

Garden Hortica Oakland

By joining us in FB you will receive announcements of garden events, garden talks, garden parties, sales and special promotions.

GH on 7th is firstly our vision of creating a garden space that grows food and  ornamental plants.  It also serves as a gathering garden space for all kinds of activities from teach-in for kids to social events and how to talks.  Call it a garden town hall for the community.

For food crops we grow seasonals like tomatoes, peppers, herbs, squash and much more

For garden plants we focus on low water and drought tolerant plants such as succulents, cacti, South African natives especially leucospermums (proteas), leucadendrons, grevilleas and other South African natives. 

We also showcase GH container gardens, garden walls and roof gardens.  Here we use salvage materials or discards to create uniqueness.

Above a Garden Hortica design.

If you want to attend any of our garden parties please go to the Events page to sign up for upcoming garden party events or be a fan of Garden Hortica in Facebook to see updates of events.

Grevillea, red hooks that is a low spreader versus a tall bush

What We Do
  • Consult, Plan, Design and Build/Install SUSTAINABLE Food and Ornamental Gardens for homeowners, non-profits, neighborhood groups, schools, churches and businesses.
  • Custom Plan, Design, Build and Install your own GH GREEN Box for homeowner use, non-profit organizations, schools and businesses  .  Go to GH Green Box for more.
  • Set YOU up to be a Garden Hortica retailer.

  • Consult, Plan, Design and Build/Install indoor plantscapes for your home, office, school, medical facility or business.

  • Make our own line of Garden Hortica Container Designs and other garden related products for re-sale.

  • Wholesale and retail plants, GH container gardens, garden art and more...

Pin cushions galore