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Splashing oasis just inside this Fresno front entry.

Splashing oasis just inside this Fresno front entry

Step inside this entry courtyard in Fresno,California, and an oasis greets you. From a spillway-fountain along the front wall come the sight and sound of splashing water. Birch trees around the fringes of the adobe patio shade the area with their leafy canopies. And a 6-foot concrete-block wall provides privacy from the street and helps baffle traffic noise.

Even when summer temperatures soarabove 100|, the new courtyard remains comfortable. It also creates secluded space in the front yard; before the remodel, the entry faced the lawn and street. Architectural student Matt McGrath designed and built the 25- by 80-foot entrance court so the enclosed area can function as an outdoor room, expanding the livability of the house.

The fountain's two pools are concrete.The recessed one, edged by the patio's 12-inch-square adobe pavers, forms an L. Above it, the rectangular pool is faced with ceramic tiles and topped with pavers matching the patio's.

To create the upper spillway, which seemsto pour down from the concrete-block wall, McGrath mounted a sheet metal box--about 4 inches wide, 4 inches deep, and 5 feet long--behind 2-by-10 redwood trim. The box rests on a 2-by-2 ledge.

A pump hidden in the shrubbery behindthe courtyard wall routes water from the recessed pool up a PVC pipe to a perforated pipe in the metal box, which spills the water out in a thin sheet.

Photo: Three-tiered fountain fills new courtyard with the sound offalling water. It cascades from upper pool to lower one, recirculates through pipe behind concrete-block wall, and spills down from box hidden by redwood 2-by-10. Agapanthus bloom in background

Photo: Before, birches only partly screened the street-facing entry (above). New wall (right) encloses trees in courtyard entered through tall gate. Plants include fast-growing silk tree, creeping fig, raphiolepis and bergenia by lawn
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jul 1, 1987
Words:308
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