Heidi Fischio-Brewer, owner of Empress Garden Design 

Recently featured in our summer issue, Homeowners Noel and Carrie Vallejo wanted their mountainside Eden, to engage all of the senses, so every planting choice mattered. Garden designer Heidi Fischio-Brewer pulled out all the stops as she added experiential, dynamic garden plants to the property’s extraordinary landscape by Northland Design.

Photos by Joshua Caldwell 

Dynamic Garden Plants

Fischio-Brewer chose the climbing rose “Joseph’s Coat” to soften the natural stone pillars. “The roses bloom most of the summer and their beautiful flowers seem to glow in the sunset sky,” she says.  

Dynamic Garden Plants

Attracting buzzing bees and garden lovers alike, rose “Morden Sunrise” and lavender “Hidcote” add color and sweet fragrance to the small vineyard all summer long. 

“The container plantings are a nod to the Mediterranean and steer the feel of the landscape and architecture,” says Fischio-Brewer, who filled each with three butterfly bushes surrounded by layers of colorful, bee-attracting center plants and spillers. Nearby, potted star jasmine fills the summer air with its sweet perfume. 

Dynamic Garden Plants

A thickly planted bed of vegetables—including lettuces, tomatoes, peppers and herbs—delivers a delicious mix of texture, color and tastes to a path leading to the vineyard. 

Pennisetum “Little Bunny” fountain grass adds touchable texture and form to the swing area without attracting bees to this spot intended for hanging out and carefree lounging. 

Dynamic Garden Plants

Bright red mandevilla and trailing Supertunia “Silver Berry” deliver exuberant color to the top of a curved wall enclosing the firepit patio.


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