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Design Gallery

Plan for a steep, unusable back yard.

Plan for a steep, unusable back yard.

This sunny space has breathtaking views of city and mountains, so we created a serpentine path leading down from the deck through varied, low-maintenance plantings to small sitting and gathering spaces. A tiny stream accompanies visitors through a series of pools.


 

Walls and steps to connect two outdoor spaces.

Walls and steps to connect two outdoor spaces.

Before, only a rockery with a difficult stairway joined the upper and lower levels. Now walled planting spaces connected by broad, gracious steps, make an appealing transition. A gazebo takes advantage of spectacular views from the upper level.


 

Sounds of mowing replaced by the babble of water.

Sounds of mowing replaced by the babble of water.

The owners did an excellent job of constructing this garden from our plans. To replace a lawn, they wanted colorful plantings and a new entry, but also hoped to take advantage of the slope to create a major water feature. The new entry expands into a small terrace that overlooks the pools and waterfalls that play between dramatic rockwork. Varied plantings give year-round color.


 

New patio and plantings bring backyard to life.

New patio and plantings bring backyard to life.

Overgrown shrubs and a flat lawn did not invite these owners outdoors. Now, a flagstone patio connects to the back entry and to an existing deck over the garage to create a generous, flexible outdoor entertaining space. A small, stylish water feature and colorful plantings make this new back garden a magnet for outdoor living.


 

A small back garden needed more living space and more privacy.

A small back garden needed more living space and more privacy.

The slope is now contained with a stone wall while broad steps lead to a small patio and lawn surrounded by lively, low-water plantings and a vegetable bed. Tall, airy bamboo screens the space, and herbs and flowering perennials add scent and color to a sunny border.


 

More outdoor space amid fragrance and color.

More outdoor space amid fragrance and color.

The slope by the house was hard to negotiate and level outdoor space was nonexistent. Now a block wall frames a patio and broad steps. Plantings are varied and drought-hardy, blending mostly native species with those from Mexico, Australia and the Mediterranean.