“I love beginnings. The start of something new gives us hope for what is possible. … A garden is in a nearly constant state of beginning: turning the earth, the first seeds, the first flowers, the first harvest of a season,” writes LA-based landscape designer Lauri Kranz in her new book A Garden Can Be Anywhere, which she co-wrote with her husband, Dean Kuipers.
It was exactly this level of enthusiasm that persuaded me, a few years back, to feature Lauri and her exuberant gardens in our Gardenista book. In a chapter devoted to one of her screened-in edible gardens in Los Angeles, she made it look as easy as breathing to grow cherry tomatoes in raised beds, harvest fresh breakfast berries from nearby bushes, and persuade unruly beans to grow in fuss-free fashion on a bamboo trellis.
Lauri has become one of LA’s most sought-after designers, and it’s obvious why. For her clients, who call her “the fairy godmother of gardening,” she creates charming landscapes that feel very personal and modern.
With this new book, Lauri gets a chance to tell her story, her own way. Illustrated by lovely photographs by Yoshihiro Makino, the book takes readers through the process—step-by-step—of designing and growing a beautiful home garden. With raised beds, soil improvements, and sun, she shows how you too can create an amazing–and amazingly intimate—garden like the ones featured in this book. Don’t worry; Lauri will be there to cheer you on every step of the way.
Photography by Yoshihiro Makino.
Lauri explains why she favors screened edible gardens: “Every garden will have a few visitors here and there, and that is generally not a problem. But there are times when a flock of starlings will devour your just-planted seeds or an ambitious deer will gnaw your vegetables right down to the dirt, and then—unless it is your goal to feed the wildlife, which is a noble thing to do but probably unnecessary—we have to protect the garden in order to have anything left to eat.”
“Placing the compost bin close to the vegetable beds makes for easy use,” writes Lauri.
For balconies, decks, rooftops, and other outdoor spaces that pose a challenge, Lauri recommends container gardens: “Always be sure to have a licensed professional work on weight-bearing guidelines for any of these areas. I also like to use containers around pools or any area of the home that is hardscaped.”
See more of Lauri Kranz’s gardens (and read her top tips for cultivating the LA look outdoors: