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.

Wednesday, November 28

Vertical Gardens for the Holidays

It's that time again...for new Vertical Gardens and new Container Gardens...

I had Conrad make these recent frames with wider/deeper sides.  The extra depth is referred to as 'museum quality' frames when it comes to fine art exhibition, and in this case it not only looks good, but it gives the plant roots additional space.  If you're looking for something for a Xmas gift, send me an email to describe the size and the choice of plant material (succulent or bromeliad) you're looking for.  


My son, Conrad.  He is mad surfer, who lives on the beach in Redondo, he makes custom furniture for fun, and makes the Vertical Garden frames for me.  































Wednesday, November 14

The Final Days of Installation of An Exquisite 'Destination Garden' in Palos Verdes!!

Here's a collection of images from the amazing & dynamic Palos Verdes Destination Garden that we finished installing this past week! I'm going to start this post with some 'before' images, then intersperse those with 'after' images from the final 2 days of installation.  I'll be back to add text...work calls, so I'm out the door...ENJOY!!



'Before' - 2nd level garden area.



An 'after' image - a high wide angle view of this uniquely original destination garden in the hills above L.A. - poetic, inspirational, w/jewel-like areas...gorgeous, inviting.



'Before' - 3rd level garden area...much work to come.




I adore the 'golden barrel garden room tableau'.  Note the elements added to this area since my first post: a stunning, rare piece of petrified wood (upper-right corner) and a fabulous authentic metate (mid-left).





What's not to love?  Gracefully articulated, beautifully designed garden areas, with an amazing backdrop - Southern California's picturesque skies framing an expansive view of the valley below...a destination garden with a view.  





'Before' - 3rd level garden: musicians, an unworked garden wall, and 'the' Palos Verde tree - look for the 'after' colorful, captivating tableau designs to come...




The re-structuring of this garden wall and a bit of artistic acid-washing begins.




And 'after'...It began to rain in the afternoon of the final day of installation.  The wet surfaces, of both the hardscape and softscape, responded to the rain by highlighting the already dynamic colors present in the landscape and the sculptures - thank you Mother Nature for the rain!  Tableau vivant!




I adore this shot...the burrow is seemingly captivated by the musician's "ability to entertainment".

This image also represents how the sum of the parts (3 separate tableaus) can equal a very creative whole (overall larger tableau setting).





Yes!!  This beautiful, older Aloe plicatilis 'rules' in this space!! (aka Fan Aloe)



















'Before' pathway to the lower level garden path that loops past the front of the Palo Verde tree, behind the musicians, and out into the main garden areas with a view of the valley.




An 'after' of the same pathway - now an 'inviting visual and physical trip' to the garden below.







The Palos Verdes tree tableau.  Naturally.




The Euphorbia continifolia is a colorful small tree, perfect for water-wise gardens - this tree will grow to about 15' high and 5-6' wide, it's drought tolerant with a minimal root system - no fear of invasive roots here.




The 'blue garden'.  A must in the coastal hills of P.V.  We are, all of us, living in a desert that borders the ocean.  This garden reflects that relationship beautifully.  Sweet.





Standing here in the morning light one is struck with the presence of both the newly installed landscape and the area itself - the rolling hills of Palos Verdes with the valley in the distance.  Feels amazing - a visually stimulating space in any light.






A visual transformation of the fountain was accomplished by an artistic application of a patina-wash and some additional height which was provided by a newly designed metal pedestal (the pedestal/base was designed & welded together by the owner's daughter.  You rock 'little sissta'!).  Note the large pieces of glass added to the fountain's water basin (a shade of turquoise) and the large piece of dark glass added to decorative gravel.  This area is now a visual magnet!






This cactus has bloomed at least 2 x since we started the installation - it's obviously quite happy with its new home.





The garden also includes some 13 original container gardens!!






Note: this rock is not acid-washed, it is a naturally occurring turquoise-colored mineral!! This jewel-like planting area is a distinctive 'color-echoing' companion to other turquoise-colored elements installed throughout the garden levels.  An inspiring, poetic space.







This image speaks for itself...or one could say, "..to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself." Which famous male poet said that?  William Blake, of course.  







Rain falling on inherently colorful materials = great photo ops for me on this final day of installation!






Do you know what type of rock this is?  I hadn't seen one like it before until we did some research, made a 'search and destroy' drive to locate it, and brought it back, just for this job.






A rare piece of petrified wood from a burned forest area in Utah, makes an original,  elegant and gorgeous addition to the garden.






This photo taken from the gardens 1st level provides a view of the sweeping graceful movement and dynamic color-echoing throughout the garden.  It's hard to believe this garden was 'just installed' - imagine what it will look like in just a year's time.  It's already a breath-taking, creative lifestyle back drop and a dynamic, provocative space for future entertaining.








The crew 'working in the rain'.  Prior to this we were busy seeking out the necessary rain gear wherever we could find it - whether it fit properly or not, it was welcome protection during the final hours of installation. These guys are true artisans, and the patina-washed container garden that follows is yet another example of their artistic abilities.





Another original in the garden - an elegant, patina-washed container - designed just for this garden.   Cool.



Monday, November 12

The Latest 'Sustainable' Design Work

Both of the following designs represent environmentally friendly landscape makeovers: the removal of the original grass turf to be replaced with modern, sustainable designs that feature the combination of some dynamic sustainable materials - flagstone, tile, d.g. planting mounds, 'water-wise' plant material, etc.  I couldn't be happier....





This unique San Diego residence built in the 1940's, is currently owned by an individual who wanted to replace the existing landscape plant material with a healthy 'water-wise' landscape design.  Topping the list of immediate changes to the landscape is the removal of the original turf grass and replacing the existing irrigation system with smart controllers and micro-irrgation. The 'landscape makeover' is meant to meet the City's cash-back rebate program requirements, while providing the owner with an original, sustainable and modern design.  In creating the desired aesthetic the Concept Plan includes:  gracefully designed flagstone paths - which provide an increased 'physical intimacy' for the homeowner - and D.G. covered planting area mounds designed to promote and display selective plant materials that are uniquely beautiful and 'water-wise'.




I so enjoyed being asked to create a Concept Plan for the inner Courtyard of this gorgeous residence built in the 1930's on Coronado.  The homeowners wanted to remove all of the existing turf, and I suggested they replace it with a collection of beautiful, large pieces of flagstone.  They wanted a minimum amount of planting  throughout the open flagstone area, just enough to provide a sense of light-filled, breezy and cool ambience for dining and beauty.   I chose to include only 3 new planting areas in a serpentine movement across this open area.  I chose plant material that would both provide the desired aesthetic and be happy growing in Coronado & provide healthy, 'long term easy maintenance' for the homeowners.