Right after buying a house, many new homeowners spend months on a mad dash to complete crucial interior renovations like paint, flooring, appliances, and kitchen counters. The yard is often something you imagine you’ll get to “later,” only to be left a scrubby mix of dry grass, weeds, and old pavers for years on end. But once you give it some TLC, you’ll realize it should have been a higher priority all along.
Whether your home needs some curb appeal or you just want to level up your game, you’re going to need some inspiration, and landscape architect Sarita Jaccard has that in spades.
Born in Argentina, Jaccard got a degree in environmental studies from New York University while also studying graphic design, a potent combination of skills that led her to where she is today. She moved to Los Angeles and worked for LA landscape artist Art Luna in 2017, starting her own office two years later. Her time with Luna gave her experience transforming some of LA’s most beautiful high-end properties, including the West Adams home of artist Henry Taylor and the grounds of a Paul R. Williams house in Hollywood.
Jaccard’s projects reveal a keen eye for exactly the right plants and design elements to complement the exterior of a client’s home. Each one has a particular mood. “Edgecliffe,” for instance, has the feel of a modernized cottage garden, with café tables tucked among towering wildflowers adjacent to textural brick facades. “West Adams” accents a Spanish-style home with banana plants, spiraling agave rosettes, trumpet flowers, and striped hammocks. As a certified California native plant landscaper, Jaccard always incorporates appropriate species for the local climate, especially for friendly pollinators.
Other projects by Jaccard are every bit as mesmerizing. “Sunkist” celebrates the expansiveness of the Joshua Tree landscape. Squares of wooden decking interspersed with circular hot tubs and tables slices through the desert floor, accented by drought-resistant native plants. “Oneonta” translates similar motifs to a wholly different landscape, a forested plot occupied by a stark black modern cabin. Here, the hardscape elements contrast with an abundance of lush dark greenery in pleasing spikes and cascades.
Sometimes, Jaccard manages to convince the clients to alter the exterior of their home to suit their collective vision for the landscape design. That was the case with a recent project in Los Angeles, which started with “a lot of broken brick and half-dead grass.” The clients wanted a kid-friendly garden full of drought-tolerant plants that would enhance their view of the surrounding Mount Washington hills. Jaccard convinced them to paint their home black as a dramatic backdrop, then oriented everything from the entrance walkway to the furniture toward the view.
Swaths of small pebbles provide relatively soft yet xeriscape-friendly surfaces throughout the front and rear yards alongside redwood decks, custom-made furniture by Blue Pocket Studio, and pockets of native plants. But the best part is the sunken cedar hot tub, which creates the illusion of an infinity edge and reflects an adjacent oak tree.
Jaccard feels a strong connection to the natural world, and tells Issue Magazine, “I’m inspired by movies, animals, plants, my Argentinean roots, places and things that have a story behind them, perseverance through adversity, cultures outside of my own, and the people close to me.”