Creating 5 Garden Areas In A Small, Steep Backyard
This backyard has a very dramatic slope, which if left as-is would have resulted in a very limited outdoor living space. This homeowner has taken one steep area and created five exciting and unusual areas of interest and outdoor living spaces.
Starting at the top there is a koi pond, the soothing sound can be heard throughout the garden. It is truly a peaceful place. In front of the koi pond there is a sheltered seating area that beautifully provides privacy and captures the sound of the water. Above the seating area there is a green roof, the green roof cools the area and importantly provides a focal point. The roof garden and building really add to the Japanese garden feel. Walking a few steps down from the koi pond one arrives at a wonderful patio area. It utilizes several different types of hardscape material as well as benches which can accommodate large groups of people. In the corner one notices a wall and steps. Following the steps down one notices a great looking door and behind the door is a wine cellar. The dark wood and the wine inside make for a great garden destination. But not only is the wine cellar a great looking area but because it is subterranean it is very cool and comfortable. Perfect for the wine and visitor. Going back up to the patio there are some offset stairs that lead even further down the hill and into a woodland. Eric likes the way the stairs have been placed, they look very natural.
Every time Eric looks at this space he finds himself counting the spaces again. The green roof, the koi pond, the patio, wine cellar and steps into the woodland area. That’s five levels in all. Unbelievable.
Eric asks the landscape designer how he pulled this off. For the upper level, the koi pond, they had to build a retaining wall to get a level space. So instead of spending a lot of money and backfilling the retaining wall the homeowner was interested in a wine cellar so they were able to incorporate it into the same square footage. So it’s a great use of space for someone with a small back yard.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
We love vines for all the garden problems they help to solve (covering things up, blocking things out, making the kinda ugly, pretty) but climbing vines–whether those that cling by aerial rootlets, or those that need the support of a trellis or other structure–are also a welcome sight for wildlife passing through.
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