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Accolades for Landscaping

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After Desert Landscaping

Meet successful Joshua Tree landscape and interior design artists, Gino Dreese and Troy Williams. Their motto: – Get your head out of your grass – They encourage homeowners to play it environmentally creative and remove their traditional lawns, replacing them with with drought resistant cactus gardens and funky desert landcaping.

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The first time Gino Dreese and Troy Williams entered our new house, they looked like two doctors examining a patient.  They moved from room to room, silently nodding to each other and scrutinizing the premises intently but they didn’t say anything…initially.  I’m like, “it’s awesome, right?”  They continued nodding and moving around the space accordingly.  “How cool is this view?”  I asked.
“Oh the view is tremendous – no doubt about that,” Troy replied.
“And the lighting is fantastic, don’t you think?”
“Oh the lighting is exquisite– for sure,” Gino replied.
“Ok, but what about the house, please tell me what you think…?” I inquired further.
Gino looked at Troy, Troy looked at Gino and spoke the single word that made my heart stop… “It’s sterile,” replied Gino.
Silence. Crickets.
“WHAT? STERILE…?!?!”
I had no idea what they had meant by this.  The walls were white – it looked clean!  The matching furniture was nicely placed – kept! Everything was new construction and worked – modern!  What could they possibly mean by that dreaded, insulting, word…. “Sterile?”

sterile |ˈsterəl|

Adjective: lacking in imagination, creativity, or excitement

My wife and I had spent our honeymoon, at ‘The Homesteader’; their previous rental property located at ‘Mojave Rock Ranch’ vacation rentals. We were “über” impressed with their landscaping and design skills and had hired them because we wanted to recreate the love we experienced at their home in ours.  We also wanted to create a desert escape where couples could be welcomed away from the noise and stress of everyday big city living and be embraced with eclectic solitude.  Knowing what Gino and Troy were capable of, I had agreed to surrender to their wounding “sterile” comment and let these mad designers run amuck and unscrutinized in our barren abode.   “Weave your magic tapestry throughout our ‘arid’ space and turn it into a sanctuary like non other and I in turn will not question your work until you’re done,” I promised.
But, two weeks later, being the control freak that I am, I broke my vows of autonomy and secretly came to check-in on my designer friends.  And to my horror I found not a sterile environment but a traffic turn signal painted throughout our house.  One wall was painted with streaks of red.  The hallway pillars were painted yellow.  And the beautiful white kitchen was painted with slashes of green and blue. They had done the antithesis of what I had asked and brought metropolis into my home!  WTF???
I was horrified.  Was this some sort of hidden camera prankster reality show?  I was ready for my friends and family to come streaming around the corner with cameras at the helm… “Surprise!”  But, alas, it was not. I was not laughing and was actually on the verge of tears. To take creative liberty is one thing, but to offer oppressive bad taste is another.  And how dare you call my place “sterile” and offer this septic monstrosity instead.

Taking a deep. I confronted the dynamic duo.  “Guys, what the…?”

Gino cut me off – “You promised.”

I stared at him, back at the walls, back at Troy.  “But….?”

“Yup, you promised,” Troy, countered.

“Ok….ok, ok, ok.  I promised,” I feebly hobbled away feeling like I had signed a deal with the devils of tastelessness and wondered if my dream of a Desert Oasis was turning into an Omen of Descent. What hell was I thinking…?

Bottle Wall

Two weeks later I returned, only to discover to my relief and absolute exultation the place that renters and lovers worldwide have now come to be call, ‘Joshua Tree Oasis.’

I can’t recommend Gino and Troy enough. They are gifted landscape and home interior designers; but more than anything, they are artists.  They attack each project with the same passion as is visible throughout each interior and exterior at our home in the desert. Check it out:  www.JoshuaTreeOasis.com

Thank you Gino and Troy for making dreams come true!

Ethan Wilson

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Joshua Tree Oasisby Cara Wilson-Granat

From using a horse trough or ancient cement mixer for a burst of wild desert cacti, a bullet-ridden gas container for a barrel cactus or a wall of glass bottles for a neighbor’s privacy, their love of junk and ability to find humor in everything they touch is what they integrate into their magical landscape creations.

Do you remember the first time you stepped into Joshua Tree Oasis and it took your breath away? What was it that caught your eyes? Was it the muted hues of light from walls to ceilings blending into the smooth tiling everywhere? Was it the finely crafted details—the warmth of wood and stone? The massive fireplace which echoed the panorama of craggy landscaping beyond the outside deck? Or was it the little surprises of art tucked here and there amidst this five-star vacation desert retreat–the multi-colored shards of glass, shells, stones and bullet-ridden cans offering their own kind of rusted, battered beauty?

Did you take in the weathered religious icons and the wall of bottles designed to capture a dazzling show of sunshine and moonlight? Or was this exquisite hideaway of Joshua Tree Oasis  like a living, breathing collage of colors and vibrancya tapestry of sensuality and serenity like none other?

The mastery behind the orchestration of interior and exterior design was created by two artistic geniuses: Gino Dreese and Troy Williams.

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Troy Williams & Gino Dreese
(Mojave Rock Ranch Designs, www.mojaverockranch.net)

They sold the resort in 2003, to devote more time to their very successful landscape design business. Mojave Rock Ranch Designs has done many spectacular renovations in the High Desert, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Miami Beach. Their work established the eclectic  “Joshua Tree Style,” and has been an inspiration to many other artists, designers and architects.

Landscaping and Interior Design

Troy and Gino had a thriving landscape design business in Silverlake when, inspired by the Mojave desert and its proximity to LA, they moved to Joshua Tree in the 1990’s. They bought several run-down houses (including this one) and close to 200 acres, and went about creating a desert retreat, the Mojave Rock Ranch. The Bungalow (now True World Bungalow) was their first project. The old photos show a charmless cabin behind a chain-link fence, sitting in bare dirt. The only vegetation was a small tamarisk tree. In addition to using native desert plants to recreate a desert environment that man had destroyed, they also found amazing uses for some of the trash littering the property: An old truck bed Interior liner was repurposed as the fish pond; discarded beer bottles became the bottle surround; rusted tin cans became mulch for the cactus garden; rusted tools found their way into the rear stoops. The wood stove was original to the house – it couldn’t be removed! So Troy and Gino built the fantastic  masonry surround with the stove in place.

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Go to websites for more pictures: www.casadecoyote.com or www.vrbo.com/253247

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Go to website for more pictures: www.thegreenacresranch.com

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Thank you, Troy and Gino, for the beautiful work you did at our building.  I walk around the property and can’t believe the transformation.   You really understand the tropical environment and realize what plants thrive in this environment.  Your work has brought the place from an eyesore to a unique tropical paradise.  I often have people commenting on the lush landscaping, and how it has added value to our property.

When we first met and discussed ideas for the project, you both listened to ideas we had for the building.  You then spent time to come up with a plan and proceeded to implement the plan in a prompt, professional, and laborious manner.  The hours and hard work you dedicated to the project went well above my expectations (my expectations are very high).  I use to joke and say the place looked like a waste land, now I welcome people to our peaceful paradise.

Thank you again for your hard work and dedication.

Anne Walsh
President, Ocean Park Condos, Florida

 

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As a 15 year resid
ent of our fine Ocean Park Manor condominium in our sublime little beach town resort of Ocean Ridge Florida, and having been resigned to the uninspiring – bordering on drab – plantings, our landscaping has recently had a wonderful shake-up, courtesy of Troy Williams and Gino Dreese, professional, innovative, imaginative “artists of the land” extraordinare.  They’ve made dramatic changes that have created such a tropical paradise to come home to! They’ve planted many kinds of palms, some short and squat – others tall and stately that sway gently in the balmy winds from the Great Atlantic a minute walk away. There are many flowering bushes; our hibicus bloom in resplendent colors almost year-round, and interesting native and exotic plantssome that cast cool shadows and grace our courtyard, patios and poolside (even some shy orchids bloom in the shade of a phoenix robelini palm). Everything is environmentally sensitive with water supply taken into consideration. It’s a bit of “Old Florida” here now: green and colorful, transformed from the past, so pleasing to the eye and all our senses and our souls.

Thank you Troy and Gino for our wonderful transformation and making life better for us here!

Patricia Griscom, Resident at Ocean Park Condos