With its roots in the natural and the romantic, “A Place for Reflection” is intended as a place of peace and rest.
Utilizing the existing mature vegetation as a foundation, the shrubs were pruned to reveal the architecture of the plant and to provide structure and age to the space. The tapestry of vegetation emphasizes form and texture rather than color to create a calming effect in different shades of green with accents of white and rust.
A Corten steel and concrete fountain, brimming with water, and a cast concrete bench is off the main path, offering a place to rest. The fountain’s beautiful patina and warm color blends harmoniously into the backdrop of green vegetation. The sound of water and the depth of greenery transform this space from a simple side yard to a place of rest – even just for a moment.
Bench and Fountain are custom designs by Russell for the Showcase event.
Special thanks to Arrow Sprinkler and Landscape, Landscape Warehouse, Cobra Electric, Ernsdorf Design, and all the marvelous people who financially sponsored this garden.
Photography by Roman Sebek
Inspired by the San Gabriel Foothills, this small garden offers churchgoers and the neighborhood a natural sanctuary for contemplating the miracles around them. Many of the chosen plants evoke spiritual imagery (such as olive trees) in a peaceful setting that highlights the beauty of the 85-year-old Gothic architecture of the church.
Designed for a Spanish-style home with a contemporary twist, in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, this handsome, custom designed and fabricated barbecue island is crafted from Corten steel frame with Ironwood panels and poured-in-place polished concrete countertop. This rustic modern outdoor BBQ Island is the perfect compliment to the existing ironwood deck and a wonderful centerpiece for cookouts.
Project in cooperation with Earthdance Architectural Landscapes
Lush, green and colorful are not typically words to describe a low water landscape but this landscape in the San Gabriel Valley stands up to the California heat. Concrete from an existing path is repurposed to create a new and more accessible entry to the home. Seasonal native plants and a generous patio under the existing Jacaranda link the connection between the interior of the home with the exterior for a very comfortable and casual “California” garden.
Recycled Concrete Path
Seeking to limit water consumption, the weekly maintenance of a large lawn, and improve curb appeal, low water and low maintenance plants were selected to add color and texture to complement the simple profile of this Spanish-style home. The result is a home landscape that’s as easy on the eyes and well as environmentally friendly to our Southern California climate.
Photography by Christina Wenger
Created for L.A. Farm Hands (LAFH), Box Farms simplify the process of starting your own raised bed vegetable garden. Marine grade stainless steel hardware and powder coated steel come together in a durable and stylish solution to the raised bed vegetable garden.
Contact Russell with inquiries regarding the cost and set-up of a box farm for your home OR for an in-home vegetable garden consultation to learn how to grow your own food.
An array of garden ornaments and bird feeders was the foundation for this cottage garden for this turn of the century bungalow in the Bungalow Heaven neighborhood of Pasadena, California. Native woodland and existing plants anchor the shade garden below the oak, cedar and redwood trees in the front yard, while existing roses, meadow grasses, and an extensive collection of cactus and succulents complement a new water feature and a patio arbor for a century old wisteria vine. In total, the garden is a place of refuge and sustenance for wildlife.
Photography by Christina Wenger
New Entry and Path
This dirt lot in Glendale was transformed into an edible paradise – a lush, vibrant backyard escape that’s both beautiful and productive all year long. Pomegranates, figs, apples, avocado, loquat, stone fruits and citrus provide shade for seating areas and privacy from neighbors.
Overall, the design reflects the client desire to grow as much food as possible.
The modern farm comes to Los Angeles! This hillside home in the heart of Silverlake marries contemporary architecture with an emphasis on sustainable landscape design that includes urban farming. Project is in development and designed in collaboration with POD Design (Architectural Designers) and Russell Wightman (Landscape Design).
Spadra Farm Concept
At nearly 130 acres, Spadra Farm is currently the largest contiguous piece of farmland remaining in Los Angeles County.
Spadra Farm is a design concept that proposes a partnership between Cal Poly Pomona's Collins School of Hospitality, the School of Agriculture Sciences and the Farm Store to create the largest urban farming operation dedicated to the development of urban agriculture in the Country. This project demonstrates how local cultivation of food can sustain and support communities – not only here in Los Angeles County, but throughout urban areas in the U.S. and the world.
Project Team: Russell Wightman, Kim Trimew, Dawn Poole, and Robin Mark
Selected Images by Russell Wightman
Ecoventure is a concept design for a two-block park in a waterfront development in Portland, OR, adjacent to the Willamette River. Over time, the park will help plant itself, the storm water capture basin will become a complex and ecologically layered landscape more closely resembling the forests and wetlands surrounding Portland.
Images: Selected from project
The North Slope Vision Plan is a Graduate project that seeks to beautify the North Slope in the City of Signal Hill, CA.
The vision plan links the North Slope with other adjacent lands with similar uses into one continuous “Green Spine” of trails, sports fields, mixed use development and wildlife corridors to create an urban park unlike any other park in America today.
2008 ASLA Student Award Honorable Mention for Planning and Design
The North Slope Vision Plan is a graduate thesis project developed in collaboration between Russell Wightman, Erin Lybeck, Tony Ignacio and Tarragon VanDenberg.
Selected images from plan created by Russell Wightman
Oil Extraction and Trails
Housing and Parks
Wetlands and Wildlife
Boasting spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the Beachcomber Inn is one of the best examples of the Spanish Colonial Revival style in San Clemente.
Called in to provide an updated planting plan, Russell chose plants in vibrant blues, oranges, purples, maroons and fuchsia - the plant colors mirror the sunsets over the ocean. Greens of various hues soften the landscape to create a peaceful space for visitors looking for relaxation and tranquility.
Chicken or human, we all need a little style in our lives.
Designed with both human and chicken in mind, custom chicken coops are a great way to make a statement or complement your home landscape. Custom coops are built with the needs of humans as well as the need of the feathered members of their family. Consider a custom coop “Haute cluckture.”
Feel free to contact Russell if you’re interested in a custom designed Chicken coop for your home. Russell works with local craftsmen and contractors to price, build, and install custom coops.
Once surrounded by thirsty plants, this home in the foothills of Glendora now boasts a colorful array of low water and deer resistant plants. New plants complement the style of the home, existing topiaries. The colorful trunks of the large ‘Marina’ Strawberry trees served as inspiration for the color scheme of purples, rust, whites and yellows.
Stay tuned for updated pictures as the landscape matures.