November 8, 2020 | Zoe McKay
I had the pleasure of speaking to Robert Gonzalez. He and his family are the recent winners of the Home Maintenance Award. Robert, his wife Andrea, and their son, are loving their newly designed home.
ZM: Hello Robert! How long have you and your family lived here?
RG: We just moved to the Baywood neighborhood two years ago. We had bought the house approximately 4 years ago, and then went through a big remodel. Moving here was a dream come true. This is where we want to raise our kids.
ZM: What made you want to live in Baywood?
RG: Baywood has so much to offer from, “the beauty, charm, history, tree lined streets, and it really captures so much of what the bay area is. We want to set up roots here.”
ZM: What do you enjoy about living in Baywood?
RG: “We enjoy taking long walks in the community and discovering something new everytime we go out. We meet so many of our neighbors, and it’s a lovely community.” Everyone is very friendly and we love how when we wave it is always reciprocated by our neighbors.
ZM: Can you tell me about your son and how he enjoys the outdoors and your garden?
RG: “We like to say the garden is our favorite room in the house. It captures everything. It gives us room to be outside, converse, and use our imaginations. My son loves to explore, adventure, go on missions to find insects, and uncover fossils. This is where the mind of a five year old flourishes. My wife and I love pulling weeds, watering, and maintaining the garden. This is a value we’re passing on to our son. I think it’s important to put in the energy to get the result. We want him to know that beauty doesn't come free. You have to put in energy to foster growth.”
ZM: Why was it so important for you to do sustainable landscaping?
RG: “First of all sustainable land scaping is beautiful, period. You can have it all. We trusted our landscape designer, Cal Native and Dave Raphael, who has been designing gardens in the Bay Area for decades. He is almost a celebrity, so when we brought home it was a no brainer we wanted his garden.” Besides being very efficient with water and maintenance, his gardens are beautiful.
ZM: How did you decide which plants to use and where to put them?
RG: My involvement in the design was very limited. There was no blueprint, no checking in, it was handing over the keys to Dave, and he created it.
We did transport certain trees and plants from our previous home. The tree from our old front yard is now at our new house. My wife was responsible for this tree. She got it for me for my birthday a long time ago, and we decided to bring it to our new house. “We value tradition and the idea of legacy.” Our garden brings me a lot of peace and comfort, and it's nice that we get to share it with our neighborhood.