Los Angeles Inspirations: Joseph Marek

Joseph Marek garden design landscape architecture southern california design

I have start with apologies, I have meant to write so much more often than I have been able to, since being here in So Cal.  I don’t know if you have missed Studio ‘g’, but I have.  Wanting to write and have my peaceful time to revel in garden design and not getting it can make me a bit claustrophobic.  We have been visiting family, and up until today, both sides of our family have been here so I have had less time to myself.  We don’t leave for a couple more days, so I hope that I can spend some time here online as well as around the area checking out the nooks and crannies of LA that I have never turned up before.

Joseph Joseph Marek garden design landscape architecture southern california design

Being here in southern California, is so inspiring, it is still warm, things are green, and I have all the optimism of a spring gardener.  The cycles of the seasons, being so much more subtle here, are fooling my mind into thinking about all things lush and lovely rather than what I know will greet me on my return to Boston (Snow??).  I have a few more days to revel in it, and revel I plan to do….

Joseph Joseph Marek garden design landscape architecture southern california design

Joseph Marek is a local designer whose gardens are really inspiring me at the moment.  What I am loving about his style is the layered in details.  Color threads really flow through; plants and flowers match walls and furniture fabrics; containers and accessories tell cohesive stories.  There is no lack of places for your eyes to peacefully settle on something lovely.

Joseph Joseph Marek garden design landscape architecture southern california design

Joseph Joseph Marek garden design landscape architecture southern california design

These portfolio images also have me thinking a lot about something else.  The fact that they are so beautiful is not natural.  Gardens never look this perfect in real life, and like most all magazine photography, these are images that took a lot of time and work to create, probably by professional stylists.  They are a bit of an aspirational illusion that are difficult to achieve and maintain, but I think worth the effort to try.

Joseph Joseph Marek garden design landscape architecture southern california design

It has me wondering how many people out there are not just stylists, but specifically garden stylists? –  Professionals that work hard to prepare a garden or landscape for this type of photography.  Are you one? Do you know anyone? I would love to interview a few of these people for some professional pointers.

Joseph Joseph Marek garden design landscape architecture southern california design

In the interim, I will continue to study these lovely gardens, admire Joseph’s work, and learn from a master.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. Fern @ Life on the Balcony on November 29, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    I love the look of succulents interminged with other plants. These gardens look so effortless, but I know from trying to help my mom relandscape her from yard that it is a lot harder to achieve than it looks. Beautiful!

  2. Liz LC on November 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Thank you for blogging during your vacation. I’m loving the inspiration, as I sadly put many garden beds away for the winter here in Zone 5.

  3. Kat on November 30, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Looks like he has really mastered designs for smaller, more intimate spaces. So perfect for most So. Cal lots. I particularly love the color combo of the reddish retaining wall with the copper pots. Very beautiful.

  4. michelle d. on November 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Beautiful inspirational images of Mr. Marek’s home and studio.
    He is quite a talented designer and a very nice host.
    I visited this garden several years ago and it’s nice to see that the bones are still about the same but he changes up the styling details.
    One of my favorite parts of his garden is his front entry courtyard( your last photo) it has the cutest little square raised fountain with a spitting frog and the alternating colors in the stone paving is very cool.

  5. Helen on November 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Love the lushness of the plants, succulents and grasses. But even more I’m loving the feeling of an artistic personality being expressed in these really personal spaces. Maybe it’s a stylist’s touch but it looks natural.

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