The Synergy Garden

It is common to believe that “real” artists toil in isolation, alone in their studios, crafting works of art while insulated from peers. While this notion of the solitary artist is romantic, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Gardens by Gabriel finds that creative work is often more communal in nature, involving a collaborative element and manifesting a collective product. There is a term for the abundance that is generated: Synergy.

For Jessica Carlberg’s San Luis Obispo landscape, we enlisted the help of several local artisans: Justin Ferreira of JF Concrete cleared the way and poured the slab, creating a simple broom-finish concrete patio; Maysun Wells of Wells Concrete Works formed the slate-grey fire bowl surfaced with smooth obsidian gravel; Ryan Allen of Allen Builders sculpted the hot tub's low Cumaru platform featuring his signature joints inspired by traditional Japanese carpentry. He constructed a near-transparent fence of steel and redwood surrounding the property to take in the mature forest of the Bishop Peak neighborhood. The plantings mix textural grasses and reeds with splashes of colorful succulents. The Hass avocado and pineapple guava will add height and home-grown snacks. 

“As an architect myself, I had some strong initial thoughts about what our garden should be, both in terms of layout and style,” says Jessica. “Gabriel embraced our vision and enhanced it with his own creative ideas and thoughtful plant selections. In addition, he brought in amazing craftsmen to execute the concrete work, the carpentry and electrical portions of the project. Each of these artists got excited about our garden and offered their own design suggestions and expertise to the mix.”

San Luis Obispo County is a community that values beauty, the arts, and the natural world, which translates for us into the ability to create some truly individual outdoor spaces. Supporting these artists and their endeavors strengthens our community as it simultaneously crafts garden environments that are greater than the sum of their parts. “Gabriel's team was truly a pleasure to work with,” says Jessica. “Our backyard was transformed from barren wasteland to lush oasis literally in weeks. We could not be happier with the results.”

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