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Recontoured yard uses recycled soil in berm.

CONTOURING GAVE A flat, slender yard a more natural form, and adding a gentle berm and curving path gave it a greater sense of depth.

Before the remodel, the yard lay four steps below a deck; regrading raised the garden more than a foot. Now, there is almost a seamless flow from interior rooms to the garden.


Changing the scale of the plants used also enhanced the new false perspective: low-growing flowers and shrubs are close to the house; trees encroach on the berm and surround the garden.

The transformation of the 40-foot-wide lot started with the addition of a 10- by 30-foot lap pool along one side of the site. Instead of hauling away the excavated soil, landscape designer Nick Williams of Tarzana, California, used it to form the grassy berm that starts near the rear fence and meanders to a rock-covered patio near the house. Siting the dark-bottomed pool to one side left most of the garden open to view from the elevated deck outside the living room.

To better blend new and old, the deck, steps, and patio have the same stone surface. The path wraps around a spa and planter just off the deck, narrows slightly, and winds its way to a small patio near the far end. Elsewhere, the natural texture of stone is used to border the pool and spa so they blend more naturally into the landscape.
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Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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