Rain Gardens that work

There has been so much written about rain gardens and stormwater quality, that it can be hard to keep up with.  The best rain gardens are easy to maintain, and are set up so the plants can survivive in dry times.  This means irrigating them during the summer months for some amount of time, but the rewards are worth it.  With the right plants, rain gardens flourish, treating stormwater that has been contaminated by any number of sources, and provide opportunities for wildlife, as well.  Below is a link to a podcsast of a rain garden in Elk Grove, California (near Sacramento) that we just got notice of from the State Water Resources Control Board.  Follow the link, and check out the 4-1/2 minute video.





Sonoma County Residence: Update

Custom made gas lanterns

As the year progresses, so do our projects, and we are proud to present the next update to the Sonoma County Residence we are so proud to be a part of within the Mayacama

Entrance Driveway

Golf Club estate.  Firma Design Group has been responsible for all site planning, assisting with grading and drainage and layout of all exterior elements – in addition to planting, irrigation and lighting.  As the exterior begins to come together for this project, we will have more updates as time goes on.  This absolutely incredible residence created by Farrell Faber & Associates of Santa Rosa, California and complemented by the exterior planning by Firma Design Group will be an incredible addition to the Mayacama neighborhood.

A Peaceful Childrens’ Garden

If you follow our blog, you know that the partners at Firma Design Group are very committed to the community and to making “places” feel like a place.  Whether that is through the large master-planned communities, a plaza on a main downtown street, a parking lot, a private backyard or a peaceful childrens’ garden.  When we design, we take into many factors that other designers never even think about.  We consider the “human element” and consider the behaviors of the users, of the maintenance personnel, and of the owners.  A perfect example of the wonderful projects that we work on is one that we take great pride in because we participated in a design charette with the owners and then were able to completely create a space for children.

This is a small garden that is used for children that might not have the best situations at home.  The owners use this garden for therapy sessions, for letting the children let out some stress, or to let the children just relax and be themselves.  Previously, this area was a dirt patch and we rejuvenated this area to create a “place”.

There are a lot of elements to this garden, such as:

-a caterpillar pathway

-old tire planters

-mushrooms to climb on

-a mural painted of large grass blades and insects

-herb garden for smell and touch

-a large shade tree

-space to sit or reflect


And much more.  We are very proud of this simple, intricate and beautiful garden and hope that the children are able to use it for years to come!