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"New Jersey" forest in La Canada.

"New Jersey" forest in La Canada Memories of summers spent along a rocky New Jersey lake inspired this garden remodel in Southern California. Dr. Sandra Rader, of La Canada Flintridge, wanted those hazy images to come alive in her garden, so she showed landscape archittect Lawrence Moss a collection of family photographs to start him in the desired direction. The tranquil space he created has the feel of a wooded lake brightened by the trunks of birch trees and broad expanses of white-gray river rocks.

Just outside the family room's French doors, the rocks--natural and somewhat irregular--form broad, orderly steps that spread out to become a pool deck. But at the perimeter of this deck, the rocks seem to regain their wildness as they trail off into the edge of the garden.

Sunk into the L-shaped upper area is a grill-topped firepit. Almost 3 feet deep, the firepit can hold roaring bonfires to warm evening parties.

Although a stone deck would make a poor croquet court, it makes a delightful walking surface that almost demands bare feet. The rocks extend slightly over the edge of the reflective, dark-bottomed pool. A dark grout bonds the rocks to a concrete deck beneath. Moss keeps the deck's outer edges somewhat irregular and leaves pockets in the surface for trees and other plantings.

Beyond the pool's shallow end, a small grotto contains an in-ground spa. The spa, too, has a dark bottom that almost turns it into a reflecting pond. Nearby plants crowd in to enhace the intimate, woodsy setting. Azaleas, camellias, ferns, and magnolias add their shapes and colors to the background. Shade-tolerant annuals fill beds along the rocky walkway.
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Title Annotation:natural landscape garden
Date:Jul 1, 1988
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