English Garden at Home Ranch

June 19, 2019by Monica Perrone

A landscape for a beloved rural bungalow amid mature trees. Privacy and year-round beauty are two of the many products of this English Formal design effort. I’ve been working with this client since 2006 on their 1940’s family property. The shaped pool north of The Oval was recently completed and construction has begun for Tucked In, a stone guest cottage dashed in at left in my original rendering below. Next project: the Gentleman’s Orchard!

Monica has transformed the meandering three acre yard of my childhood home, which had no rhyme or reason, into a collection of gardens, one just as interesting as the next.


My first glimpse of Monica Perrone was in 2006 as I watched her step out of her vehicle wearing those apple green pumps. This was a good sign, I told myself… anyone wearing those had to have style! By now I was looking for the little things, the tip offs that would prove we finally found someone who would take this yard of ours where we wanted to be. Others had disappointed us and numerous times, I might add. They weren’t on time and when they did arrive they wouldn’t listen; they drew plans that had nothing to do with us, they were overpriced and if that wasn’t bad enough, they lacked vision. Were we ever going to find someone who would embrace this project as though it was their own or was that too unrealistic and just too much to ask?

Wait, Perhaps now we had the real thing. Monica walked with us throughout our property, all the while listening intently and taking copious notes (no one had ever taken notes!) as my husband and I chattered our frustrations and dreams, talking over each other in excitement, because now it had occurred to us that we did indeed have a listener. But did our new best friend have any talent?

Yes, it turned out, and plenty of it. Monica proved to be the perfect fit for us. She not only presented a plan that took our breath away, but a plan that was practical and which solved our myriad of problems. Monica has become our problem solver. I continue to be in awe of her as she takes on our quandaries, immediately, on site. How refreshing is that? No, it’s not… I’ll get back to you with this, as you wait weeks for a reply. It’s… let’s do this, as she grabs her tablet and begins to sketch. Monica is an artist… an artist in your garden, and what a gift she is!

And so Monica has transformed the meandering three acre yard of my childhood home, which had no rhyme or reason, into a collection of gardens, one just as interesting as the next. She taught me to rid myself of things I didn’t love, to experiment with ideas I hadn’t considered, and to appreciate that which had worked well here in the past. We pulled, planned and planted together. Monica has been worth the money we’ve spent but certainly she’s been more than that. She’s embraced this property lovingly and, most importantly, she planned for its change while respecting its history and that is what placed her a cut above.

I can’t imagine a time when I will be finished here. Gardens are never truly completed… they’re always changing… there’s a quote to that effect by someone. But that’s the good news… good news because it will give me the opportunity to give Monica a call. We’ll chat, stroll and sketch and, once again, I’ll have an artist in my garden.” — Gail M.

My client’s father bought this lovely California ranch property nearly eighty years ago and from there he began to build his dream home. Over the years, he planted trees and designed a modest home that would remain the base for farming and family for many generations to come. Gail and Mike now manage this legacy and do so with the utmost respect for the values that Gail’s father set into place so long ago. They feel a sense of responsibility to maintain Home Ranch, in appreciation for the years of hard work that her parents put into growing and harvesting peaches, grapes, walnuts, and almonds.

Endurance brings us to today where together we have converted Home Ranch into a Craftsmen Home and English Formal Style Gardens. My first task in this renovation was to collaborate with my clients to create a three-acre master plan. Through upholding a strong appreciation for the value of design and quality materials in this process, we were able to capture exactly what my clients were envisioning for their comfortable, welcoming home and garden transformation. Once we had designed the blueprint for this project, I worked meticulously to tackle detail oriented tasks such as the tagging of specimen trees for the property at a nursery.

In addition, during this project I also worked to coordinate with contractors, craftsmen, fabricators, interior designers, arborists, and vendors to ensure that my clients were receiving excellent service across the board. By installing steps, stone walls, metal vehicle gates that mimic wood, stone pillars, garden gates, a mudroom entry, a shaped pool, a two-story guest house, a screened porch, raised planters, and perennial borders throughout the course of this project, we were able to enhance the curb appeal of Home Ranch. We moved forward in achieving my client’s ideal landscape through further improvements to the property such as: relocating mature trees, designing a formal lawn, fixing lighting, remodeling the front porch, changing the driveway layout, and updating the furniture selection. I continue to provide design and direction site-wide. We are currently framing the two-story stone guest cottage and there are many details to define and refine together as we realize its October completion date.

Gail and Mike continue established traditions with joy by carefully adding both beauty and interest in warm detail to all aspects of the property. Due to the dedication of resources and oversight across generations, there is a timelessness and genuine sustainability that will likely last into the next century. Home Ranch is a type of haven that can only be achieved on Earth through a strong commitment to honor, love, and care.

Monica Perrone

Let’s Talk

Monica Perrone is a Professional Landscape Architect with over thirty years in her industry. She has lived and worked in various regions of the United States with diverse experience including urban planning, landscape contracting, and event design.


With excerpts from Gardens Are for People by Thomas D. Church.

Copyright © 2024 Monica Perrone. All rights reserved. | Built by Rare Digital