The clients requested a garden that would look interesting when viewed from the house decks and would carve functional spaces out of the steeply sloped site for children to play and for the family to grow fruits and vegetables.
This garden is designed to be viewed particularly from the home above. The design uses strong geometry to provide an engaging bird’s eye view while indicating a clear journey from the house’s lower patio through an intimate seating area to a play area and a berry patch. Bold curving retaining walls anchor the house within the landscape and bring a sense of order to this steeply sloped property. The design preserved the existing site contours to minimize regrading, resulting in curved, low-rise retaining walls and a winding path that flows down the hill. The seating area references the yin-yang symbol, embracing a retained Japanese maple in a nod to the previous garden that featured Asian elements. The seating area offers a perfect vantage point to view the garden and surroundings while supervising children in the play area. The low wall with a basalt gurgler provides a sense of enclosure and intimacy within the landscape. The retaining walls were built with traditional stone masonry techniques using locally quarried stone, celebrating times when gardens were created to be enjoyed by several generations.