Garden remodels can be especially challenging when you have to work around existing fixtures. In this garden, now owned by Nancy and Michael Alexander, Trutza retained a huge, beautiful old cork oak that dominates one side of the yard. But a glaring white-bottomed spa surrounded by white decking created a bigger challenge, and behind the spa was a plain block wall bordering another yard.
Since the spa was so prominent, Trutza decided to turn the eyesore into a handsome focal point by adding a fountain, covering the spillway with tasteful gray green tiles, and refinishing the bottom of the spa in black pearl Pebble Tec.
Behind the spa, Trutza installed a new raised planter and filled it with a mix of gray-leafed and flowering plants. He covered the block wall with stucco and applied an ocher-colored lime wash to play off the gray foliage.As a finishing touch, the Alexanders paved the patio with manganese-colored Saltillo tiles, laid upside down to create a nonslip stonelike surface. "The new paving provides the perfect connection to the house's interior, where the same pavers are placed right side up," says Trutza.