Totally exposed, the old front yard consisted of a sickly lawn.
Once the ugliest yard on the whole block, this entry garden in Bremerton, Washington, is now one of the most inviting, thanks to a significant relandscaping effort by owner John Paulsen.
When he and his family moved in, the yard was almost barren, and there was a dangerous drop-off between the front walk and a deeply recessed driveway.
To solve both problems, Paulsen decided to enclose the yard with a fence that runs along the sidewalk and the driveway.
Paulsen designed and built the lattice fence himself, setting the stepped sections back slightly from the sidewalk to accommodate a planting strip.
The cedar fence is 3 feet tall except for a 4-foot-tall section near the porch. To form the latticework, 2-by-4s were ripped (i.e., cut lengthwise) in half, then strung between 4- by 4-inch posts. The top and bottom rails are beveled to shed rain readily, a necessity in the Pacific Northwest. The wood is coated with a transparent oil-based stain.
Inside the fence, a curving path of flagstones dotted with Corsican mint leads to the front door. The path threads through a cottage garden featuring a palette of plants (see list on next page) that landscape designer Anne Janisse helped Paulsen select.
DESIGN: Anne Janisse, City People's Gardens Design & Landscape, Seattle (206/324-0963)
Next: See inside the fence, and get the plant list