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Enhancing Your Landscape with Hardscaping: An Interview with Louise Leff of Leff Landscape Associates, Inc.

By Louise Leff

About Leff Landscape Associates, Inc.:

Louise Leff and Julio Torres combined their skills in 2011 to create Leff Landscape Associates, Inc.

Louise Leff's formal education began at Merritt College, where she studied horticulture, and continued at the University of Oregon (Eugene, OR) and Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ) where she studied landscape architecture.

After receiving her degree in landscape architecture, Louise returned to Sonoma County to practice her talent for design on residential and public landscapes in Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties. It is here where she aptly combines her lifelong love of the outdoors with her creative intuitions to design site sensitive gardens made to suit each individual client.

Julio Torres has been managing and installing landscapes since 1992. He started as a maintenance gardener and quickly worked his way up the ranks to foreman. Julio received his Green Building Professional certificate from Sonoma State University, he is a Certified Green Building Professional, a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper, is Green Built Certified and a certified Permaculture Designer.

What Services do You Offer?

Landscape design of large and small gardens in Marin, Sonoma and Napa; from estate grounds and gardens to backyard renovations and front entryways. Decks, patios, ponds and waterfalls, swimming pool and spa surrounds, walkways and paving patterns. Retaining walls, water systems, special landscape lighting systems. Forest management. Oak tree community preservation and restoration.

What Can Patios and Stonework Enhance Your Landscape?

Patios, walls, steps and various other masonry features create "living rooms" outside of the house and into the land. These amenities help to integrate the structures on the land, and invite expanded uses of properties.

How Can People Incorporate Walls and Lighting into Their Design?

Walls, if around 18" high are great for sitting on. Even if they aren't needed for retaining, the walls can create a little courtyard, some separation, or simply add interest.

Lighting can be incorporated in the wall for safety and aesthetics.

What Brick Options are Available?

Masonry for walkways are available in countless varieties. Interlocking pavers set on sand create an appealing small textured appearance and allow for water penetration, thus reducing the "non-permeable" surfaces in the landscape and allow for aquifer recharging. Larger stones such as flagstones (both local and from exotic locals) can also be set on sand. Thinner veneers can be used on top of a concrete base. These applications are usually less maintenance in the long run, but cost a little more for the initial installation.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 707-789-0150
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