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Private courtyard behind the stucco-wood fence.

Evoking the appearance of a private Japanese courtyard, this front-yard remodel captures new privacy and better defines the entry. Designer-builder Daryl Rush of Piedmont, California, ringed the front of the L-shaped house with a stucco-and-wood fence and moved the front gate up close to the sidewalk. Outside, the fence presents a series of blank panels to the street; inside, it creates a tranquil courtyard with two small ponds.

For fence posts, Rush used massive 3-by-16 posts recycled from a pier; they're joined by 2-by-4 stud walls covered with builder's felt, wire screening, and stucco. A pagoda-like redwood cap tops the fence; a cedar-shingled gable roof defines the double gate.

As the picture at left shows, a path of flat stones leads from the street down the gently sloped yard to a broad patio. Winding among the stones, a shallow trough carries a trickle of water from the upper pond to the lower one.
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Date:Sep 1, 1984
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