Landscape Solutions for Awkward Spaces
After: A custom cedar trellis is painted and adorned with flower pots, provides the background for a secondary seating area in the yard. In another part of the yard, a bubbling boulder adds the sight and sound of moving water.
After: Natural materials like a simple wood table and chairs, and plants chosen for their foliage and texture turn the cold basement patio into a rustic retreat. Terra-cotta tiles laid on the diagonal create the illusion of a larger space.
After: The blank wall recedes into the background, and a bamboo pergola, Japanese lantern and fountain help create a beautiful Asian-style garden. The bamboo, cut from neighbors' groves, also provides the low-cost cover for a rain barrel.
After: Rain barrels are useful commodities for the backyard, but even the newest and best can be a distraction in the landscape. Here, leftover bamboo from the pergola project serves as a nifty cover for the rain barrel.
Exposed AC Unit
Before: This area in the yard is the only place a new patio can be accommodated, but what about the air-conditioning unit that has center stage?
After: A pergola provides dappled shade for the new patio and, in the corner, yews flank the air conditioner. The yews will grow thickly around the unit and hide it, but because they're not prickly, accessing the unit won't be a problem.
Before: Visitors on the footbridge that connects garage and house get a bird's-eye view of this awkward space. The jumble of rocks makes walking hazardous, and light is poor.
After: Artificial turf and a recycled composite deck provide a place for tots to play. A seating area under the overhang is flanked by a Japanese rain arch that provides soothing sounds and visual interest.