The Perfect Garden features concrete throughout: stamped and colored concrete walls, stained concrete walkways, and a concrete fountain.

What do you get when you allow Victor Amador to spend four years forming, pouring, stamping and staining concrete in your yard? You get The Perfect Garden. Featuring curved and textured concrete retaining walls along with organically shaped, stained concrete walkways, steps and patios, The Perfect Garden provides an unbelievable outdoor retreat with views to match for a Point Richmond home.

Victor Amador, of Soft Concrete, has worked with concrete for 26 years. He is an artist at heart who paints and sculpts on the side. The Perfect Garden project was his dream come true. The homeowners allowed Amador complete artistic license and trusted his vision from start to finish.

The curved garden walls are poured-in-place concrete that was stamped and colored.

Originally, the homeowners wanted a small space designed around a metal sculpture of a whale's tail. Amador created a viewing platform in a teardrop shape that the owners loved. They then asked him to connect the space to an existing flagstone patio. From there the project evolved into what it is today, a beautiful terraced garden featuring curved concrete walls, stained concrete paths, intricate ironwork and striking plants.

Amador approached the creation of the walls as if they were sculptures, with the dominate theme being curves. The walls are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The yard had a steep slope, nearly a forty foot grade, so retaining walls were needed. Amador's walls are far form typical retaining walls. He formed the curving shapes himself and poured the concrete in place. Some of the walls feature pockets that serve as planters. Texture was added to the walls using an Italian Slate stamp pattern from Americrete. As a finishing touch, a painter came and added color to the walls to make them match the exterior of the home.

The concrete walkways, steps and patio areas were stained to match the walls.

The extensive flatwork for this project includes walkways, patios and steps, all designed, formed, poured and colored by Amador. As the creation of the garden unfolded, each new area of concrete took on a shape of its own, creating an overall meandering, organic feel. It was a process of creative discovery for Amador as he approached each new area of the garden. In order to provide unity, all of the concrete was stained using Smiths' water based stains in desert sand and terra cotta.

Drought tolerant landscaping and custom iron work accentuate the concrete walls and pathways.

As the project morphed and expanded, Amador revisited his original viewing platform and sculpture display. He elected to increase the size of the viewing area and create a fountain. The fountain is made of concrete, of course, and surrounds the sculpture. To carry the element of water throughout the garden, he also used concrete to create three-dimensional waves at the base of some of his walls. Amador also designed a drainage system for the garden.

Currently, four years after Amador began, The Perfect Garden is in its final stages. Stunning landscaping has been installed by Kelli McDonald, who elected to plant drought tolerant plants so that they would need less watering. Plants used were from all over the world and feature labels so that garden visitors can identify the varieties. Additionally, custom metalwork from Robert Sharpe has been incorporated into the garden's design. Curving iron hand rails and decorative wall toppers accentuate Amador's work and create additional visual interest. The homeowners have also added more sculptures to the space.

Thanks to Victor Amador, his artistic ability and experience with concrete, this outdoor living area has truly earned the title of The Perfect Garden. The owners now have the ideal space from which they can enjoy their amazing view of the bay and the San Rafael Bridge.

Victor Amador
(510) 395-3032