LACMA's Pet Rock

Clockwise: The rock at the quarry from the LACMA Unframed blog, The Public Fruit Theater as it was installed; A Google Earth view of the Public Fruit Theater, and the 106 mile route of the rock.

On Friday May 6, 2011, we had orders from LACMA to dismantle the Public Fruit Theater two months earlier than expected. The fruit theater was directly in the way of the trench for Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass. We completed building the theater in November of 2010 as a collaboration with Fallen Fruit and their year-long residency, with the culminating event EATLACMA. The amphitheater was built out of recycled broken concrete pieces and aggregate, with an orange tree in the middle. It took us approximately ten days to build and was primarily subsidized by our company, with a quarter of the cost paid by LACMA, with a total budget of around $20k. Despite the overall size and weight of the amphitheater (approximately 100 tons), the carbon footprint was low because of the use of reclaimed and re-purposed materials. In two days, we disassembled the broken concrete theater piece by piece, and nothing was left except for dirt. Currently, LACMA is putting its institutional muscle into moving a 340-ton rock from a quarry in Riverside into the heart of Los Angeles.

Marco Barrantes, Certified Arborist

Professional licensing ensures a level of quality and experience, and sometimes there are requirements for particular licensure for construction, remodeling and municipal projects. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that principal and ISA member, Marco Barrantes has become a certified arborist. Trees are integral to our ecosystem and enhance our urban forests. Bad pruning, or improper care can easily kill a tree. Trees are also significant in our personal landscapes as proper placement on your property can provide shade, enjoyment, fruit, increase property value, and beauty. Some of the services we can provide are planting, pruning, removal, emergency care, long term care, competition and beneficial planting. 

Got Lawn? Get Garden!

Fall is the perfect time to get rid of your lawn and replace it with a sustainable garden. Here are a few of the reasons why.

Lawn: 11% more water. 37% more yard waste. 19% more maintenance.* High water needs. Urban runoff from lawn fertilizers & chemicals contribute to local watershed pollution. Gas powered lawn equipment contributes to 5% of U.S. air pollution. Lawn is an invasive species in Southern California. Compacts soil. Promotes monoculture.

Incan Sustainable Building Methods

We love this story (Climate Change Spurs Revival of Ancient Incan Agriculture) on NPR's the World about the revitalization of Incan agricultural terraces to help stave off the effects of food insecurity and climate change. Peruvian terraces are centuries old, based purely on sweat equity made from basic building blocks: rock, gravel and dirt. Evidence that simplicity can be the most sustainable and low impact tools for building.

When’s The Best Time to Start Your Garden (in LA County)

Plan Now During the Heat of Summer and Plant During Wet Season

In our work of landscape design-build-maintain in Los Angeles County, we often find ourselves at odds with client preferences for when they want to start their projects.  Too often we are asked to install gardens during the Summer, which is usually when all of us want access to a beautiful garden, to enjoy our climate.  Unfortunately, this is the worst time to plant a garden, as the new plants will be stressed from the hot conditions, followed by dry Santa Ana winds. Irrigation will also be required that many plants, particularly native plants, don't want during the Summer.