Some projects happen in phases.   Our customers often choose to tackle their master plan one part at a time.  In the case of this outdoor remodeling project, we had the opportunity to return and complete the backyard landscape three years after installing the frontyard.

The objectives had shifted slightly since the planning of the front yard, with a new priority of creating a single level main 'living area'.   The few additional level changes necessary were kept to 4" or less and delineated with brick.  In this case, the lawn was removed to eliminate the mowing chore, but replaced with brick planters to allow garden chores more in line with the desires of the current owner.  

From this angle you can see the view from one of the several patio tables strategically located to enjoy either shade or sun depending upon the garden season and current weather conditions.

patio with fountain

The brick planters were augmented with pressure treated wood planters clad with lattice and made to size for each location needed.   This effort was to not only create a tidy appearance but to also thwart two pesky intruders - the random sprouting of the neighbor's wisteria and the random soil mounds created by the local gopher population!   A special soil mix was used to fill the planters and fir mini-bark was used for mulch.

Close up view of planter adornments.

The personal touch is evident with the owner's adornment of the plantings.

Ample outdoor entertaining space was incorporated into the plan to allow for a variety of exposures during the changing seasons.  During the pleasant but chilly early spring, a sunnier locale is preferred.  However, when the summer heat encroaches, a retreat to the shade is available as well.

A lovely Japanese maple graces the planting area under a giant redwood.   As with much of the original yard, surface roots of surrounding trees had so filled the soil that the only way to augment the plant palette was to create mounded planting areas over the top of the soil.  

This arbor was used to set apart the 'cutting garden' (the low planters to the right) and utility area from the main patio.   A custom made potting bench is in the back, shielded by the lattice planters.   Also disguised within this garden zone is the less than beautiful air conditioning unit.   (See how good of a job we did - you didn't even notice it!)

Here is a view of the new potting bench complete with tool racks, shelves and spaces for potting soil bins, pots and the 'original' potting shed (the tall cabinet to the right).   The previous landscape made use of large flagstones as a path set within the lawn so we reused them here to convert an old style foundation planting area to hardscape.   (And yes, that is the air conditioning unit of which you can finally see a small edge at the left side of the picture.)