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Making every inch count. This small garden in Orange County makes full use of limited planting beds and outdoor entertaining space.

Making every inch count When space is tight, garden design and funtion become all-important. This garden, which wraps a house in San Clemente, California, makes full use of limited space for planting beds and outdoor entertaining, while providing greater privacy. Owners Jan and Ron Klingelhofer enlisted Scott Peterson of Richard Price & Associates, San Juan Capistrano, to make the design.

Plants were fitted into small beds throughout a garden that includes a gazebo and a spa. The circular pattern of both, as well as the curving patio, creates an impression of fluid movement through the garden. Tall plantings and a 6-foot-tall stucco wall on three sides give the property privacy from neighbors.

Plants for color and low maintenance

Spaces for annual and perennial plants are limited to 20 percent of the garden, but they're intensively planted. The result is that there's always something in bloom, yet upkeep is no strain.

Perennial plants with long seasons of bloom, such as the sea lavender and blue marguerite, are favorites. In other planting areas, annuals and bulbs are rotated in and out according to season: English primroses, for instance, follow the tuberous begonias.

All the beds, baskets, and pots are watered by a drip system. Emitter tubes run discreetly through the landscape, or are painted to match adjacent structures (tubes to hanging plants in the gazebo are painted white). Plants are fertilized weekly with a liquid fertilizer applied with a hose-end sprayer.

Details that make the difference

Throughout the garden, attention to detail is evident.

Dark-toned Endicott bricks cap low walls, border paths, and accent paving. Fired at higher temperatures than standard bricks, they're much more resilient to weather and traffic.

Paving in the entry garden and for the walkway is exposed aggregate; in the back garden, more formal, nonstaining Italian terra cotta tiles were laid on a poured-concrete base.

The lion's-head fountain gains prominence from its surrounding of dark blue tiles and a raised stucco border.
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Date:Jun 1, 1991
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