I am writing this review five months after Karen finished landscaping our back yard, and I am as enthusiastic now as I was when it was brand new (keep in mind this is after the damaging California freeze). Though the garden has evolved as well as taken some hits due to the unlikely weather, most of it is thriving and beautiful even in January, which is a testament to Karen fabulous plant choices and combinations.
Our backyard makeover was challenging, to say the least. It is on three levels, and required brickwork, railroad tie walls and planters, stairs, decomposed granite area, containers, irrigation, electrical as well an artistic eye to pull it all together with the existing elements. Karen met that challenge beautifully by first creating a groundplan and budget based on our initial consultation, followed by a comprehensive plant meeting, and then went to work bringing the whole vision to life. She brought in Jesse, the king of tree trimmers, who elegantly and seemingly effortlessly shaped a massive and sad looking sycamore tree as well as sculpted the rest of our trees. He and his men also set up an irrigation system and did the planting. Omar and his men did a marvelous job on the brick paths and stairs, railroad tie planters as well as stuccoed an old ugly retaining wall. All of Karen?s loyal subcontractors were real pros, passionate about their jobs, hardworking, paying attention to detail, as well as inconspicuous and self-sufficient. In fact, when the garden was finished, my husband and I were so happy and impressed we had a wrap party for Karen and her collaborators to celebrate everyone?s work and our beautiful garden.
On the artistic side of this makeover, Karen really impressed me with her great eye for composition, essentially painting the garden with color through her plant choices (She is a professional photographer as well, which explains her sense of color and composition). The final result is vivid and magical. Also, adhering to my wishes that it not be a high maintenance garden, Karen used a variety of sculptural succulents in focus areas, and filled in the rest with a cornucopia of shades of purples, reds and greens, in leaf and flowers to create a wonderful marriage of color and textures that would develop well on their own without too much babysitting. And on the money side, there were no great budget surprises ? any changes and/or additions were discussed and implemented fairly. Karen always remained very conscious of our needs and budget limitations.
Last but not least, on a personal level, Karen was always calm, knowledgeable, flexible and helpful. She was here overseeing her guys practically every day, and stayed very involved in the process. One can tell this was not just a job to her, but rather a calling. A landscape artist who is scrupulous, collaborative, professional and fun, what more can you ask for?
Quirky place with very flavorful food. The menu revolves around chicken (hence Blue Hen) but they sure give you a variety of ways to eat it. Even though it's in a strip mall, it has loads of character, from the odd paintings on the walls to the unsual wait staff, it's all good. I hope it lasts.
Very nice staff. The environment is great for computer users as well as parents (there is a great toddler play area complete with toys). The coffee drink menu is extensive and the music they play is always good. Much better than Starbucks, and with more character.
The sales staff is very nice and helpful, but that does not make up for the overpriced mediocre work. The custom work done for me was hit and miss, and it cost me a fortune. I know better now.
Based on previous Insider Pages reviews, I decided to try Jazmine at Hotheads. She gave me a fabulous haircut and color, very reasonably priced by LA standards. She is young but fierce, lovely, confident, and obviously very talented. The haircut was edgy but not over the top, and the color was right on. I highly recommend her.