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Seaside illusion.

* Horizon. To create a line where "sky" meets "sea," Bud Stuckey covered the entire fence with a light blue shade of soft-gloss exterior house paint. After it dried, he ran masking tape across the fence and applied darker blue paint along the bottom.

* Dunes. Stuckey put down 2 tons of decomposed granite and raked it into mounds, then scooped planting pockets out of tops and sides. To firm loose gravel, he watered it with a hose and allowed it to harden overnight. He filled the pockets with potting soil, planted, then covered gravel and soil with 1 ton of #1-size play sand.

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* Firepit. The base of an old 22-in.-diameter kettle barbecue, with bottom vents open and grill in place to hold firewood, nestles in the gravel. Flagstones surround the ket-tle rim; a steel-mesh spark arrestor fits over the top. (Check local fire codes regarding firepit installation.)

* Plants. Eulalia grass (Miscanthus sinensis) and Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) mimic beach grasses. Martha Washington geraniums and ornamental oxalis add splashes of color.

* Accents. Pieces of weathered logs embedded in the sand recall a boardwalk through the dunes.
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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:188
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