California Modern Home Spring Landscaping Ideas

Spring is a perfect time in California to get landscaping renovations done. The rainy season often allows for enough regular water to help plants establish themselves before the dry, hot summer weather. We’ve got a few tips beyond just which plants to plant! Take a look at our top spring landscaping ideas for your California Modern home.

Potted plants outside an MCM house

Drop in Potted Plants

This one is easy and can be an ongoing project. Start the hunt for a collection of pots that speak to you. They don’t have to look Mid-Century Modern to have the right impact – just make sure the plants in the pot are well maintained and that the pots vary in shape and size. Large matching pots, such as tall vessel planters, with matching plants can enhance visual interest in the space if placed apart and in anchor positions, such as on either side of a door or in corners of the yard. Otherwise, stagger matching pots and let your creativity flow.

MCM garden with swiss cheese plant

Plant the Hallmarks of the Era

Just as Mid-Century Modern homes have their quintessential features, so did their landscapes. MCM home gardens often featured a few standard plants. These go-to plants were chosen for their varying heights, colors and structure. Yuccas stand tall with beautiful, colorful pointed leaves. Hostas keep low to the ground and add deep green hues to the garden space. Fatsias fill in shady areas with pops of green and soft yellow. Often used as a houseplant during the era, the Swiss Cheese Plant, or Monstera Deliciosa, features unique split, perforated leaves. The plant adds gorgeous color and height to outdoor spaces as well. You can find even more MCM plant ideas at Garden Design Magazine. Planting these in spring allows them plenty of time to sip up water and get roots settled before the heat!

Eichler landscaping with seating

Create More Seating

With the warmer months ahead, California Modern homeowners are restless to start entertaining outdoors again. Don’t let the few lounge chairs on your patio limit the size of your gathering. Take advantage of your space and add in some additional chairs, benches or even planters with a substantial border for comfortable sitting. Try to vary up the materials to create visual interest. For example, concrete benches pair well with subtle wooden “floating” benches and molded plastic patio chairs. Use the permanent seating to create individual gathering areas with plenty of open space to pull in those patio chairs. The more the merrier!

Rock Garden in a Modern Dwelling

Plant a Rock Garden

An ode to the Japanese influence on Mid-Century Modern design, the rock garden is an elegant, respectable option for water-parched California climate. Rock gardens are flexible in style and can be used to supplement a landscape, incorporating the plants already established in the yard. Succulents and cacti make for a drought-tolerant option, perfect for a California Modern home, and will lend plenty of beautiful color to your rock garden. You can match the types of rocks to those already common in the area or representative of your environment.

Fruit trees at an Eichler

Grow Some Food

It’s your garden, why not make it do a little work and supply you with some delicious homegrown food? Spring is the perfect time to get started. Whether it’s a simple herb garden, a vegetable bed, or a fruit tree or two, a little will go a long way and boy won’t you be proud! Share with your neighbors or keep it all to yourself.


Have a tip that we didn’t include above? Tell us all about it in a comment below! Are you looking to get into your own California Modern dream home? Get in touch today so we can help you break ground on your future.

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