Castro Valley, California: Details make the difference

Sophisticated details fill this garden to the brim
Lauren Bonar Swezey

Excellent craftsmanship combined with a striking fusion of materials made jurors take note of Abe Rindal's Northern California garden, designed by Mathew Henning.

On a flat suburban lot surrounded by looming homes, Henning created a garden filled with sophisticated details that draw the eye inward, away from unattractive views.

Jurors were particularly impressed by the paving designs: Ribbons of black slate dissect larger bands of a multicolored African slate and exposed aggregate paving "to suggest the complexities of circuitry or programming in the high-tech world where the owner works," explains Henning.

To soften the hard edges, Henning left planting strips between the paving and filled them with baby's tears. "It's truly original and beautifully executed," said one juror.

DESIGNER: Mathew Henning, Henning/Anderson, Oakland, CA (510/531-3095)