Bryan Morse Professional Career (narrative)
A Resident of Vista, CA for the past thirty years, Bryan Morse has been instrumental in pioneering new directions in landscape design and construction. A passionate plant collector, Morse travels the world collecting new species to introduce into the landscape industry of Southern California. (see “Back Yard Oasis” by Dan Bennett; Blade Citizen Newspaper, Homes Section Saturday, May 25, 1991) and (“A Garden of Eden” by Cheryl Walker; Times Advocate Newspaper, Home & Decorating Section Sunday, June 30, 1991). In March, 1978 Morse founded Expanding Horizons, his design and Landscape Construction Company.
Bryan has a passion for Botanical Gardens. In 1998 he joined forces with Clyde and Connie Childress to help coalesce their vision of a Jungle and a Rose Garden into what was to become Pikake Gardens. Nine separate themed gardens were built around the Grand Concourse. Over the Years that the Childress’s owned Pikake, they opened the Garden up to a myriad of worthy causes and hosted all sorts of fund raisers at the Garden. "Bryan is one of the most talented people we have ever found," says Clyde Childress. "He is an artist and a contractor. He made our dream a reality." (see “Globetrotters” San Diego Home/ Garden Lifestyles Magazine, May 2005 Pages 92-97). Bryan was given the unique opportunity to design and build nine unique Gardens. Their efforts were recognized the world over and the Garden was recognized and honored for its innovative design and execution. (see “Globetrotters” San Diego Home/ Garden Lifestyles Magazine, May 2005 Pages 92-97)
In 2007 the Garden Conservancy chose Pikake Gardens to be on their Spring Garden Tour. Visitors converged on the Garden from all over the southwest and as a result, Morse met a Kabala scholar who in short order explained his dream to Bryan. In studying the Kabala which is a symbolic walk to spiritual enlightenment, his new client envisioned doing it on the ground so that it could in fact, be walked through. Morse immersed himself in the Kabala and its associated sacred geometry. The result, a year later was something beyond expectations. Located on over an acre in Valley Center, CA The ‘Tree of Life Garden’ is a spiritual walk to enlightenment laid out to the exact proportions specified in the Kabala with patio locations designated by original art by master metal smith Clint Crossley of Catalonia Metal Designs . At the top of the Garden is the ‘House of Yahweh’ – a 22’ diameter, poured in place concrete dome with a 4’ diameter hole in the center of the ceiling. People visiting the Garden have noted that the acoustics of the dome are phenomenal. Also that the spiritual effect of walking in this Garden and experiencing chants in the dome are life changing. Morse's love for Spiritual Gardens has driven him to replicate ancient Roman Gods, Easter Island statues, Buddhist icons and Catholic shrines.
In 2000, as a result of his former wife’s allergic reaction to Chlorine, Morse pioneered the concepts that were later to be called Natural Swimming Pools. Unable to find any information in print or on the Internet, Morse designed an innovative swimming pool for his residence in Vista, CA. Based on his extensive knowledge and experience in designing ecologically balanced ponds and waterways Morse applied the same concepts to his swimming pool design and added two regeneration zones to his pool as he converted his pond into a swimming pool (see “From Europe, a No-Chlorine Backyard Pool”, New York Times April 5 2007; “Natural Ponds are Growing”, Landscape Online .com May, 2005; “Swimming Naturally”, Garden Design Magazine June/July 2006; “Clean & Natural” North County Times Newspaper May 11, 2007) Although his original design was a hybrid that utilized small amounts of Chlorine along with silver and copper to control pathogens and algae, Morse went on to build a series of Natural Swimming Pools on the European model (completely natural). Morse also participated in editing Michael Littlewood’s first book named “Natural Swimming Pools, Inspiration for Harmony with Nature” and Littlewood included half a dozen photos of Morse’s pools in his publication.
In June 2003 Morse joined the Board of Alta Vista Botanical Garden in Vista, CA. Formerly known as Vista Botanical Gardens, the previous Board had resigned en masse over a dispute with the City which owns the land. Along with an almost completely new Board, Morse helped map out a new vision for the Garden. The new mission was to ‘Bring Together People, Nature and Art’.
In November 2005 the Board adopted the new Master Plan designed by Bryan Morse, Todd Cure’ and Ron Holloway. Shortly after, the “Vista City Council unanimously approved the Master Plan for Alta Vista Gardens, a collection of themed garden spaces and gathering spots that will be built on 13 acres of city-owned land at the top of a hill in Brengle Terrace Park. Council members called the plan "inspiring" and "magical" and acknowledged that the gardens have been a long-awaited goal of the city."A lot of dreams went into this," Councilwoman Judy Ritter said after the vote.” (see “Vista Botanical Gardens a Long Time Coming” North County Times Newspaper, January 7, 2006).
Bryan joined the Boards’ executive body in 2003, first serving as secretary of the Board and later two terms as vice president of the Board. In April,2009 the design team of Bryan Morse and Todd Cure’ donated the design and submitted the final plan for the Garden’s new Bugs, Birds & Butterflies Children’s garden to the Board for approval. (see Vista: “Festival to highlight Alta Vista Gardens” North County Times Newspaper April 23, 2009). In June of 2010 Morse was elected President of the Board and CEO of Alta Vista Gardens.
Throughout his career Morse has called himself an Artist and a Contractor. In 1983 Morse did his first patios and walks that blended broken brick, tile and stone creating an eclectic old world flavor to his projects. In 1998 Morse did his first ‘Artistic Flagstone’ project in which he blended different types of Flagstone and Quartzite in fields divided by irregular broken brick strips and shattered cobalt tile to emulate the effect of dry stream beds eventually flowing into a wet puddle. From this, his art evolved into the use of a wide range of different materials. Of note is a project in Escondido (see “Classic Craftsmanship” sdhome Magazine published by the Copley Press, Spring 2003). This project features the use of water, stone and nature. Of special interest is the whimsical and innovative ‘Dr. Seuss’ pizza oven.
Morse went on to do dozens of projects based on his ability to add an artistic flare to his landscape designs. In 2007 and 2008 he was part of a team that designed, built and finished a Craftsman Style mansion in North County, CA. In 2009 Morse joined the Vista Art Foundation and later the San Dieguito Art Guild of Encinitas in order to promote his vision of Art in the garden. In the Spring of 2010 Morse's 'Cardiff Casa' was included in the Guilds' Spring 'Tour of Artists Houses'. The organizers of the event were particularly fascinated with the Glass Bottle wall and the detail of the front courtyard. In the subsequent two years two other projects of his were featured in same tour.
06, 2010- Present: President and CEO of Alta Vista Botanical Gardens on fourteen acres in Vista, CA
06, 2008-06, 2010: Vice President of the Board of Alta Vista Botanical Gardens in Vista, CA
03, 2008: Natural Swimming Pool consultation. Kohala, Hawaii
11, 2007: Soneva Kiri by Six Senses Resort natural swimming pool consultation. Koh Kood, Thailand
06, 2005-06, 2008: Secretary of the Board of Alta Vista Botanical Gardens in Vista, CA
01, 2007- 07, 2008: Fifteen million dollar Craftsman Style six acre estate. Landscape design and construction in Poway, CA
06, 2005-11, 2006: Tree of Life Garden in Valley Center, CA
11, 2004-11, 2005: Sagewalk Ranch; Retreat /resort on thirty seven acres 30 miles north of Bishop, CA. Landscape design, construction, marketing
12, 2003; 4, 2004: Las Arboledas, Etla, (Oaxaca) Mexico; Vacation House and Landscape remodel
11, 1998-11, 2003: Pikake Botanical Gardens on six acres in Valley Center, CA
04, 1978- Present: Multiple landscape design and construction projects. See expandinghorizons.biz