Article by San Marino Tribune on Canterbury Landscaping's Showcase House 2010 Design


Water Features, California Natives And Waterwise Designs Are Specialties
Canterbury Landscaping For Any Style Garden

A striking terrace garden for this year's Pasadena Showcase House of Design is just a small example of the kind of work Canterbury Landscaping creates for homes throughout the valley.

To go with the Cravens Estate's baroque-French inspired architecture, Canterbury Landscaping's Michelle Seymoure has created a formal/informal design that even incorporates a reproduced antique French Anduze kelly green urn, planted with a Valencia orange tree.

Seymoure's design incorporates both edible and ornamental elements and herbs and flowers including strawberries and decorative kale under espallied Anna and Dorset Gold apples, lavender and sage, deep purple irises, rose geranium, boxwood basil, artichoke, society garlic with edible flowers, and borders that serpentine through the space like ribbons.

Elegant Arizona cypresses flank the French doors at the back of the house and she's going to add two ball and two pyramid topiaries of succulents, in giant urns, on either side of the patio as a finishing touch.

The job is nothing for Canterbury, (last year they were Showcase exterior advisers) formed by Ken Bilheimer and Seymoure in 2005. The company is known for its innovative gardens in any style: English cottage, tropical, desert, California, dry river bed, and more.

Initially, Canterbury clients find themselves interviewed by both Bilheimer and Seymoure to determine what they like and what they want, Seymoure said. We show them lots of pictures, she added.

Keeping the front of a home in sync with the integrity and architecture is important, Seymoure says. But if someone has a Tudor house and they really like tropicals, maybe we can give them palms and a lagoon in the back yard.

Customer satisfaction is essential and Bilheimer has done six yards for one ever-moving client.

To maintain the quality it's known for, Canterbury has a full-time plant buyer who hand selects plant material from more than 20 different nurseries to ensure the best plants available. Soil amendments are the best they can get as well.

Canterbury has two skilled crews, all permanent employees, trained in all aspects of landscape installation including low-voltage lighting and irrigation systems.

For those who want a landscape facelift or redo, Canterbury, with a $5,000 minimum starting price, can do it all, along with contractors for driveways and patios, and gravel, flagstone and decomposed granite paths and walkways.

Besides Bilheimer, a 30-year landscaping veteran who learned by doing, and Seymoure, who brings a creative flair and ornamental horticulture degree from Cal Poly Pomona, Canterbury is unique in its attention to water features, California native plants and low-maintenance, waterwise gardening.

Water features include natural-style ponds, streams and waterfalls. They also install streams that re-circulate rather than go into a pond, and all manner of fountains.

California natives way more that just poppies are gaining in popularity, Seymoure says. They include lupines, monkey flower and California lilac, which is green year round with blue blooms and available in hundreds of varieties from low-to-the-ground to tree size.

A waterwise landscape does not have to be drab or dry looking, Seymoure says. It's great to be in Southern California; all types of plants grow here. Creative landscape design and a properly designed irrigation system can make a home both beautiful and waterwise. She works to educate clients that while lawns are nice; they can be replaced with other elements like meandering paths and fun plants that keep birds and bees happy.

Canterbury's service area extends to Claremont to the east, Woodland Hills to the west, Granada Hills to the north and San Gabriel to the south.



Pasadena Showcase House of Design 2010
Canterbury Landscaping's design area


Showcase Design