“Fascinated with Californians’ relationship with their homes and nature.”

In 2010 Marc Alcock moved to San Francisco from the north of England. In contrast to the restrained style of Victorian semi-detached residential architecture in his home town, he found the buildings in California endlessly unique and playful in their design.

“Monumental, wild or artfully manipulated.”



In the book California Topiary, the photographer documents homes around California with a special relationship between architecture and nature. The photographs describe the ways in which we manipulate the natural environment to suit our needs.

Alcock’s photographs capture both the restrained and expressive personalities of a place. The portraits encourage us to welcome and value these considered qualities in our built environment, specifically how plants can in fact, function as sculpture – whether monumental, wild or artfully manipulated.

Photography: Marc Alcock
Essay: Mariah Nielson
Plant Names: Jason Dewees