Hello! This is where we will share photos of some of our landscape design projects located throughout California.

Deeter Buckner Design LLC and The Plant Man are based in San Diego, CA. We can be reached by phone (text or v.m.) at: Michael Cell: 619-980-5483, or Jenise Cell: 858-353-6369 (text or v.mail).

Michael Buckner, born and raised in San Diego, has been both a nurseryman, and a landscape designer in Southern California for over 40 years. Working as 'The Plant Man', and dba 'Deeter Buckner Design LLC', his design work has been featured in San Diego Home & Garden, Pacific Horticulture, books by Debra Lee Baldwin, and multiple other magazines.

Michael's also a nationally 'Certified Judge' for the Cactus and Succulent Society of America, a horticulturalist, a grower of rare & exotic plant material, a sought after speaker, an avid student of natural history, and a bibliophile.

Jenise Deeter-Buckner holds degrees in both Landscape Architecture and Fine Art (A.S. Landscape Architecture & MFA, Masters of Fine Art). She taught drawing/mixed-media and black & white photography courses at SDSU for three years, while earning her masters degree. She has over 10 years of nursery experience and has been working with Michael for over 5 years.

As a design team, they collaborate on all phases of the creative processes, which eventually translate into the formal blueprint of the design, or Concept Plan, drawn by Jenise.

A 'constant' in our design process is to be 'Nature' sensitive - to find ways to bring 'Nature' into the design. And in doing so, embrace those qualities inherent to Southern California, its native rocks, its changing elevations, its micro climates - the unique climates of its canyons, beaches, & interior desert environments - while making creative use in the landscape design, of the varieties of native plant material and unique cacti and succulents that thrive here.

Our team's design work promotes unique, expressive, drought tolerant, sustainable landscapes which enhance our client’s outdoor living spaces and reflect the client's personal narrative...their visions, dreams, and expectations throughout the processes - from the beginning consultation on site with the client, to the space’s final installation.

Tuesday, September 18

'Work in Progress'. An Extraordinary Cactus & Succulent Garden in the Hills of Palos Verdes

While the work on this magnificent 'destination' garden in Palos Verdes is still going on (additional hardscape, decorative gravel, fountain, container gardens, etc. still to come) I wanted to post a series of images to convey just a bit of how this lovely and wonderfully articulated landscape is being 'transformed'. 

The owners wanted a cactus & succulent garden that would be visually stimulating all year round - something that would be as inviting as the amazing view they have from their home which looks out and across the valley below.  They also wanted the garden to be a 'destination' that could be both intimate and reflective while maintaining an expressive colorful, open and inviting space to entertain in - a place to gather and enjoy friends and family.  This is it!



Before




Before




Before





Before - the garden's central area 2nd level - soon the work will begin, new soil, ledger stone, etc.

Early on - mid garden level - some soil having been installed at this point, and all areas prepped for planting, boulders, and ledger stone.


Soil, ledger stone, far wall being redesigned - central garden lower level.




An early shot of side walk way...the area has been cleaned and soil leveled.  Look for the 'after' photo of this walk way area.









An early shot of the garden levels...new soil, boulders, ledger stone, a few Golden Barrels...more on their way.






















Work in progress - garden's central lower level.  Love the colors and the dramatic sculptural shapes.





The guys...planting in the blue garden area.





View of work in progress - both the 2nd and 3rd garden levels.




These guys truly know what they're doing...every step of the way.




This view speaks for itself....








A Palos Verdes tree - fits perfectly into this corner of the garden - in the hills of P.V.


Remember the 'before' photo of this side walk way?  It has been transformed from a kind of 'lost space' to a working area of the garden that is the connecting loop to the garden's pathways.




A long view of the garden coming to life...a beautiful work in progress.








I adore the Fan Aloe, this one happens to be a very old and magnificent plant.  Planted in the right spot, it casts fabulous shadows throughout the day.   In the spring it will bloom bright red flowers on stems that dance above the aloe leaves.  Hard to imagine this garden without this particular plant.

Monday, September 10

Places & People: Art, Sculpture, Cactus, Succulent, & Petrified Wood Installation at Orange Coast College


Here's a collection of images from both the field and the garden...images I shot while working & traveling around with people who have created some absolutely stunning, colorful, water-wsie gardens over the years - gardens locating throughout San Diego, the North county, the beaches and beyond.  And check out the metal sculptures present in some of these gardens.  Would you have thought to include this type of element?  I love it.

I will add additional text later on...work calls me from my studios, so I'm out the door...enjoy!





Early summer color!!
















The gorilla is perfect for this garden!! Bold, beautiful architectural shapes, plants from all over the world..South Africa, the Americas, Madagascar....why wouldn't you want to add a gorilla to your garden?!!  




Awe color!




The Cactus Guys - Brothers



Wild boar in cactus succulent garden...cool!




Just a little shadow play...the Cactus brothers.


Following is a series of photos taken at Orange Coast College during the installation of a magnificent, enormous piece of petrified wood into the Cactus & Succulent Garden.  What a truly fabulous donation and addition to this new garden...check it out.

Petrified Wood ready for the giant crane to place it in the Cactus & Succulent Garden  at Orange Coast College

Here comes the boulder, crossing the college campus with the aid of a large crane. Getting the petrified wood to this position has already taken several hours of the crane operator's patient manipulation of both crane and boulder across campus.  Using a kind of 'hopscotching method' the crane operator moved the boulder - first, he would secure the crane, then pick up the boulder and move it forward and put it down. Then the crane would be free to move ahead of the boulder, at which time the crane would be 'secured' and then pick up the boulder - repeating the process until it made its way to the 'America's Garden' area - part of the larger Cactus & Succulent Garden. 

The arrival of the crane with the petrified wood boulder at the edge of the 'America's Garden' generated the need for some fast digging in the area where the petrified wood would be installed.


The guys secure the harness around the boulder, and the crane operator slowly swings the boulder over the garden area and begins slowly lowering it down into place.  Consider how much fun the guys were having 'working' around a huge crane and a monumental piece of petrified rock.  Lots of fun!



A pause in the action, the all important decision needs to be made - "how should the petrified wood boulder be installed?"  On its side or in an upright position?  In the end upright is chosen, and it turns out to be the best, final word.



The guys have to get this right  - manipulating the tethered boulder into position 'right now' - is the goal.






Is it stable?  Let's see...Michael Buckner, first man up.



Mission accomplished!!

Joe Stead (Hort. Dept. Prof.) and the petrified wood/boulder benefactor's son.


Cool.  One monumental chunk of petrified wood has a found a new home at Orange Coast College in the Cactus & Succulent Garden.  The students are particularly fortunate to have such an amazing garden on campus.  Way to go Joe Stead!!



The owner of this garden is clearly someone with a progressive aesthetic.  The presence of several terrific sculptural elements (such as this fabulous gorilla) throughout addresses her personal narrative - her personal expressive vision of what a garden is and what 'fun' a garden can be.  



In this private garden in Pt. Loma the owner's grandchildren are 'over the top' in love with these 'monkeys' hanging out in the tree tops.