The back yard of this home was surrounded by towering retaining walls and shrub covered hills. The design concept was to create useable outdoor rooms, points of interest and that little something different.
A "floating" BBQ counter was constructed, giving the appearance that it was hanging off the wall and a stainless steel BBQ was installed. The long counter top provides plenty of serving area either side of the BBQ. The counter top was finished with smooth colored concrete to match some of the other structures constructed in the garden.
An outdoor dining room was designed and constructed outside the kitchens large French doors. The existing flagstone paving was extended to create a large paved area and small walls were constructed either side to somewhat enclose the space. An angled redwood pergola planted with wisteria vines adds much needed shade to the area and the matching redwood table and bench seats. A section of the retaining wall was removed and a rustic concrete fountain was inserted to create a focal view out the windows and to provide the wonderful sound of water in the "outdoor dining" room area.
Two seating areas were also constructed in the garden. One on the edge of the property overlooking the city below is a gravel-paved circle surrounded by aromatic lavender. The second seating area is a "concrete" couch and ottoman placed close to the large retaining wall. It is surrounded by flagstone paverís set into the grass to provide some additional hard surface area. The square lines of the couch and the tall papyrus planted either side of it are highlighted in front of the mass of wall.
Existing grass area and large retaining wall
Outdoor dining room with concrete couch in the background
The Outdoor Dining Room
Concrete couch and Ottoman
Lookout seating area
Floating BBQ counter
The existing ivy covered slope was cleared to create a new planting area for the front of this home.
The design plan was to add some architecturally interesting plants for visual interest and to add vertical lines to the very horizontal structure.
The existing curve of the stairs was cut into the ivy to balance up the size and shape of the space. Tall Olive trees were planted either side of the steps to accentuate the steps as the entrance to the home and to add the much needed height in the hill. Architecturally vertical plants such as New Zealand Flax were planted in-groups on the hill to create sculptural interest and masses of purple and green fountain grasses were planted to add movement. Fan papyrus and agapanthus were planted along the line of the steps to highlight their gentle curve. Masses of Grey gazania groundcover were planted to fill in the spaces around the feature planting.
The existing small area of grass at the bottom of the hill was extended up and gives a more curved edge to claim the space for the home.