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They started with just a lawn, a wall, and a steep bank.

A curse became a blessing in this Pasadena remodel. Here, an uninspired retaining wall holding back a bank of ivy became a dramatically terraced rear wall for the new pool.

With the remodel, Sally and Bill Holbrook's back yard went from mostly lawn to mostly pool, but there's much more

to the metamorphosis than that. The original garden behind their 25-year-old house consisted of a fairly level expanse of lawn and a steep bank of ivy supported by an 18-inch- to 3-foot-tall brick retaining wall running all the way across the garden. The ivy dominated the view.

When the Holbrooks told landscape ar-

chitect Michael Schmidt that they wanted to include a swimming pool and enough space to entertain around it, he realized he could put the original retaining wall to work in a new way. While most of the old wall became the back of the new pool, some of it also became the support for generous brick-paved pads that border the

pool and step up the slope to a seating area and to a spa.

Above the pool, a new wall

A new retaining wall, pushed farther back into the bank, takes off at the level of the old one's top edge. Bedding plants set in the narrow strips between the new wall and the steps add color and texture.

The two walls work together to draw activity up onto the previously unused bank. The walls also eliminate the abrupt change between the garden's flat and sloping areas, and put more square footage to work.

Past the umbrella-shaded seating area, the upper retaining wall breaks back toward the pool, then wraps around a spa set flush with the top of the old wall. Water circulates from the pool to supply the spa, which is on a separate beater. Generously planted beds help screen the spa. Brick-paved pads lead down from it to the other end of the pool.

Adding aural interest to the design, a waterfall cascades into the pool through a notch in the front lip of the spa.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1989
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