Pair building ‘mystical earth sculptures’
“Before I came, this was just a sloping, boring hill,” Tobi Wilde said. “I decided I wanted to terrace it.” She was standing near the entrance to the Valley Drive home of David Harradine and Carolyn Glick. “Carolyn saw another design I did, a yin-yang, at 635 E. Alameda and that got her inspired for me to do a rising sun with rays.”
The result is a standout landscape of colorful stone and sculpted planted areas.
AdamSteinberg, Indigo Spirit Landscapes, works with Wilde, owner of Glorious Earth Landscapes. “We found pictures of the rising sun on the internet, then we started coming up with all of these colors, from the red tile to ocher,” he said. “She calls out the shades she wants to have.”
As you go up the eight broad steps to the front door, the sun images on the steps advance from just squeaking over the horizon to fully “risen.” The flowing shapes of the sun and ray figures, and of the curvy-cut steps themselves, are offset by thin straight “horizon” lines of purple-gray porphyry. Steinberg said the inner part of the treads are orange ceramic tile and the outer part of the treads and the walkways are Brazilian basalt flagstone. The step risers and garden-bed walls are a mix of New Mexico granites and sandstone, river rock, and fieldstones. The nearly white stone used for the actual sun segments is a sandstone from India. Much of this material was sourced at Ground Floor Stone on Maclovia Street.
“This was very tight. I wanted it to be very open and welcoming,” Wilde said.
Plants in the newlandscape include sedums, purple and yellow ice plants, blue avena ornamental grass, spirea, and agastache.
The project also included a substantial remodel of the driveway, which is now paved in squares of Brazilian porphyry.
The team (which also includes Paul Volmer) will build a dry streambed to deal with the runoff coming off the hill behind the house, and will design and build a staircase going down to the street.
“I am grateful to be working with Tobi building her designs,” Steinberg said. “Her ideas are so inspired they always