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Decks and mounds make all the difference.

Rather than move to a bigger house, Curt and Bernadette Chadwick remodeled their Los Altos, California, garden to add spaces for outdoor living, playing, and entertaining.

Working with landscape architect Robert A. Moore, they replaced the awkward slight slope of their back garden with three different-level areas that function as outdoor rooms. From the deck terrace by the dining room, broad steps lead up to an entertaining deck at the rear of the property and down to a play area on the left. Rolling mounds--accentuated by boulders and fortnight lilies, and cloaked with ceanothus, Scotch moss, and wild strawberry--serve as dividers between the areas. A sculptural Japanese black pine and multirunked camphor, Chinese elm, saucer magnolia, and Japanese maple add structure. Together, the mounds and plantings of this five-year-old garden give the impression of enclosing each area.

Where mounds meet the 2-by-3 redwood decking, they are retained by 12- by 18-inch concrete pavers set upright below the lip of the deck. Six- to 10-inch-wide strips of 60-mil ABS plastic, set between soil and pavers and nailed to deck edge, prevent direct contact of soil with deck.
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Date:Nov 1, 1985
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