Marc Picar


The Clover Elementary School in Los Angeles needs assistance of cultivating their garden. The Cal Poly third year students had proposed a plan and made it into effect. I along with my fellow first years, third years, grad student, and professor and advisor Rennie Tang with her kids offered to help and improve the garden. The project was due to be finished by May 18. Saturday worker’s plan was to break the soil and make a topography, after is to set specific plants, then is to set an irrigation system. The last action cover the ground with moss. The steps are relatively simple, but there are hardships that comes along with the project.

The first step is breaking dirt. The plan was to make a topography, so that the water has a run-off and prevent mud. The first few people that came only a brought limited tools and the school garden tool garage was locked. Not having any other tools made us take turns into shoveling the ground. The dirt felt that it was not watered for awhile and it was rock solid. Until, a few brought in some pick axe. The tool made difference in making the dips. It was still difficult because there was parts of the ground that was too hard to plunge. It took a good 2-3hours in digging and later, we moved on to the next part.

The next step was to plants, we marked every specific location for each plant. There are a few methods in inserting a plant. The first step is to dig a hole, second is to water the ground, third is to drench the stem of the plant into a solution, fourth is to put some compost onto the hole, fifth is to insert the plant, and lastly is to fill the sides with compost and dirt. There we conclude the planting method.

The irrigation plan is essential and is very next step we took after the planting. The irrigation is used to water the plants. We ran a few PVC pipes and installed a automated timer. We also used a drip method. This is when we run a small tube from the pipes running it towards each plants. This will evenly distribute water in to every plant causing accurate use of water to save money and  less mudding.

The last step we used is covering the soil with moss using it as ground cover. This moss is good for shady places also is great with moist. It is also used to cover the ground making a rounded ground. It also reveal a woodsy feel onto the ground that makes it appealing. The moss also helps the plants to be consistently get nutrients to grow and bloom, which makes moss a great part of designing a garden.

Finally, after a long series of work we all learned that it is a hard work to design a project and work in the field. But, we all took something away from this project. These are the proper method we should all learn and apply in our future projects. This experience will be a good reference if any of us are going to be designing gardens and cases that also may applies. I also learned that it is not easy as it looks when it comes to be building a garden. Landscaping should not be taken lightly and we should focus more on techniques into making things more fast and efficiently.


Thomas Dolliver Church is known as the creator of “modern California garden.” He went to University of California, Berkeley for his B.A. degree, then took his master’s degree at Harvard Graduate School of Design. He also traveled in Europe in use of understanding classic designs. He was a professor in UC Berkeley and Ohio State University. He started his Landscaping practice in the early  1930’s. One of his famous work is Donnell Garden. He designed this garden together with Lawrence Halprin and architect George Rockrise in Sonoma of the Northern San Francisco for Dewey and Jean Donnell. It became famous because of its abstract design. The garden was raised in 1948, while California’s economy was growing. The garden’s design is to offers people to swim, relax and play. One of the garden’s icon is the biomorphic kidney-shaped pool.  He also applied his experience in Europe’s classical designs such as using wooden surfaces and infusing his modern touch by using curves in to this project. His garden designs focused on 4 simple word of process:  Unity, Function, Simplicity and Scale. These words are essential to his gardens and constantly applied in the elements of design.


Blog Post #4

                      Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art is one of the most famous landmark in the county of Los Angeles. A place where artist and visionaries displays their work of art, in the year of 2008 LACMA adopted the installation of lamp posts of Chris Burden and named as the Urban Light. Its location is at the front of the Museum end of the Ogden Drive. Consists of a couple hundred of lamp post with the vintage appearance and feel, it brings back on the streets of Los Angeles in the early 1900s. The exhibit is placed on a extruded rectangular concrete plane, which will take one step to interact with the installation. The lamp posts are formed in a grid pattern, increases the heights as it meets in the middles, and the bottom of each post has also has different designs. The exhibits a great example for defining a symmetry and asymmetry. Rhythmic is also one of the theme of the installation the way each post is static to one another. Symmetry can also show balance. If the plane is lifted in the air with one beam in the middle, it can settle and never tilt. The display of lamp post reminds the people despite their differences can form unity and coherence making each one valuable to one another.

On the fourth week, we were invited to go with our peers to visit and study San Diego. I was unable to attend, so I went to class and took my exam. Later after I got home, I went on to my desktop find an alternative place to work on my project for my Landscape architecture class.  As I check the blackboard, I have noticed the announcement posted one week ago. It contained the alternative sites for the students that are not able to go to the field trip, then I noticed LACMA which is a placed that I have not been to. I immediately ask my significant other to accompany me. As time passes by, I noticed that I was running out of time for the Museum was closing in 3 hours. It will take 45 minutes to arrive on my site.  After I searched direction, We went on the car and head to Los Angeles. After a few moments, on the car, we encounter a navigating problem. It seemed like we were lost. I contacted my friend who was familiar with the place and got back on road. Within minutes, we arrived at the Museum. Considering that we only had less than two hours left before the museum closes, we rushed inside and took the elevator up. As it opened I noticed a large amount of space that surround the cafeteria. I looked around and I faced south and saw a large an interesting sight. It was the Contemporary Museum. Before I started taking pictures for my project, We decided to visit the third floor and investigate the place. Inside, there was real size photos of a man standing next to a huge rock. It was Interesting the way they printed the real size photos. The feeling of being able to feel what is like to be on the same location of the where the photograph was taken is strange. After a brief moment, I decided to find my location and took photographs for my next project. Then, we came across this underpass that has a large rock elevated with two supporting triangular shape on each side to hold the rock in place. The massive rock’s elevation on the ground just reminded me of the photograph inside the contemporary museum. The rock was unnatural because it was not all the time you see the bottom of a big chunk of rock. As time passes by, when the doors are closing. I felt that it was the time for us to go home. But, it was up until I found those lamp post that also caught my attention. It was a plane lined with multiple lamp post. So, I took a few more pictures and finally went home.