Luke the Wiley coyote introduced me to Joey the Roo (Kanga) who in turn was friends with Mr Horn from days of standing up in watery shacks in Chile. That is how I ended up in his backyard of sand in the sunset district of San Francisco.

Colin had already embarked upon the dream of creating his backyard paradise when I informed him that we have a design class where students draws landscape plans and submit them to clients, who in turn offer feedback and a more or less realistic not-staged design experience. He was stoked and game for the process and that is what we did. Then the class was over (Spring of 2020), and we shook hands. That was about the last time I saw his metaphoric garden boat of oxalis weeds and trash strewn dune sands sail off into the wild blue yonder.

A year passes, maybe two. Not sure. Pandemic coats time with a strange passive sheen. Surprise! Mr. Horn gives me a pamphlet/book of his garden build. Its awesome. So thought I would share it with y’all. Here’s Colin of the big red board (like Clifford the dog; I will explain the nickname later) in his own words and pictures:

A huge thank you to the students who drew the design plans:

Well, thank you to Colin for sharing his story, and documenting the build. Would like to add that most of the plants Mr Horn planted were California native plants from the north and south. Also noteworthy is that although he is not a professional landscaper and had not done this before, his did a fine job of it. He is really creative with his hands and is not afraid to ‘go’ and get mucky sweaty dirty in the process. Perhaps this will inspire another person to be a gardener and to make something fun, interactive and alive in their own yard.

Then was chatting to the Roo (Kanga) and he pulled something up on his phone from some surf film or cam. Says did you see this? I’m like no, don’t watch much screen if I can help it. And there was Colin in action, slicing across a right hand Ocean Beach slider, on what i call a two to three wave:

Joey says that is a 9’6″ board, so you go figure about how big that wave is. Dang kid is sick and charges. LOL

By the way we are still doing landscape designs and always on the lookout for potential residential projects. Send me an email at if you are in SF and have a yard that fits the bill. Especially welcome are clean slate yards in the sunset or richmond districts of San Francisco. Thank you.