San Francisco ― If Casablanca had ended differently, Bergman and Bogart might have lived happily ever after in a Moroccan-style courtyard like this one. You can easily picture the star-crossed lovers embracing in this lush, romantic garden.
Designer Stephen Suzman took advantage of the courtyard's wind-protected site to offer a warm, secluded retreat for entertaining or relaxing. Marble-capped seat walls and hand-painted tile benches provide the perfect places to linger. Trickling water from a wall fountain flows through a stair-stepped runnel (water channel) into the patio below to provide soothing sound.
A huge mayten tree shades the courtyard. Planted beneath it, and in the matching raised bed across the runnel, is a collection of bold and textural plants such as abutilon, acanthus, agapanthus, and Tasmanian tree fern. Dozens of pots filled with foliage and flowers decorate the seat wall and patio.
Several jurors described the courtyard as "beautifully constructed" and "elegant." Every one of them could imagine spending time there.
DESIGN: Suzman Design Associates, San Francisco (415/252-0111)