Backyard Oasis

img131 (2015_08_25 12_01_50 UTC)img130 (2015_08_25 12_01_50 UTC)Backyard Oasis By Dan Bennett Staff Writer

Call him the man of 1000 plants.

That’s right, 1,000. Bryan Morse looked at his newly purchased home on Osborne Street in Vista eight years ago and saw boulders. Huge boulders, which created an interesting effect but limited the color pallet of his 1.5-acre spread.

I wasn’t even interested in plants before, Morse said. Obviously I became very interested.”

So much so that Morse changed his profession. Once a general contractor who remodeled homes, Morse became a landscaping designer and contractor. He now uses his yard as a showcase for potential customers.

Those customers have an abundance of things to choose from. Morse scours the world looking for plant species that will enhance his multi-themed yard. Each of Morse’s patios have a different theme, but the overall look is decidedly tropical.

“I went to Costa Rica last year to examine what a jungle floor looked like, Morse said. In all my different projects, I try to find the real thing. If I’m going to imitate the look of a particular region or country, I want a genuine imitation.”

One of Morse’s particular quirks is trying to grow new plants after the experts tell him that plant is impossible to grow here.

“They told me there was only one coconut palm growing in this area,” Morse said. “I tried and discovered you really have to install a root heating system to make it work. That time may come. Some of my experiments work, others don’t.”

Mindful of the drought, Morse has installed a drought-tolerant garden at the entry to his property. Each area of the garden has a different theme, and this theme has sort of a desert look.

Morse also keeps his flowing waterfall in check until needed. When on, of course, the waters of the fall sprinkle down into the homemade spa. It’s all part of Morse’s lush paradise, the kind of look he specializes in for his Expanding Horizons landscaping company.

“I grow things together so they will overlap sometimes,” Morse said. “I’ll have purple and yellow and white flowers growing into each other to make a more complete look.”

Morse says he has no idea how much he has spent on the tropical gardens during the past eight years, but that figure would have to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“I just do one project at a time, so I don’t really think about the overall cost, he said. I do know that every time I visit a nursery to buy a plant for somebody else, I also pick one up for myself.”

Once Morse tires of a certain look, he’ll rip it out and try something new. “I sometimes get bored with a certain style or plant” he said. “The fun of this project is that it never ends. I keep starting over.”

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