2021 Design Awards: Landscape Design by Christian Douglas


With 25 years of experience in landscape design, including an emphasis on food-forward spaces over the past decade or so, Christian Douglas was well-matched to transform the grounds of a half-acre property in Kentfield. Edible plantings were a top priority for the homeowners, a couple with two young boys, and Douglas delivered in spades.

Douglas collaborated with Wine Country- based Steve Moore on a steel moon gate, seven feet by six inches
in diameter, from which a bluestone stepping stone path leads to a seating area with a custom concrete firepit.
Photos by Adam Potts and Christian Douglas.

On the outward edge of the fenced-in front yard, he planted grapes that passersby are welcome to pick, along with fruit from a pair of large Mission fig trees. Just inside the entrance gate, the courtyard—featuring a fountain bordered by ever bearing strawberries—is home to bees and chickens. “From the moment you enter, it’s a celebration of food and life,” says Douglas, whose overarching vision called for layers of edible plantings (from an abundance of fruit trees and berries to an extensive kitchen garden) as well as pollinating flowers and formal greenery that nods to the architecture of the 1908 Nantucket-style abode (think topiaries and roses).

The redwood planters are part of an extensive kitchen garden that includes peppers, tomatoes, squashes, broccoli, eggplant, peas and salad greens. Photos by Adam Potts and Christian Douglas.

In the rear of the backyard, Douglas carved out lounging and dining areas. The family can now partake in myriad alfresco activities, from harvesting to exploring to relaxing in a creekside hammock. “We asked ourselves: Can we integrate food into a highly stylized landscape in a high-quality, beautiful home?” says Douglas, reflecting on the success of the project. “I think we answered that question and accomplished all of those things.”

The cast-iron sugar kettle fountain, from Grove Kettles, occupies the front courtyard, where Douglas and the client placed beehives and a henhouse, as well as fig trees and berries. Photos by Adam Potts and Christian Douglas.

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